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UK's House of Commons to open doors to Meryl Streep

Nominee for Best Actress in "August: Osage County" Meryl Streep arrives on the red carpet at the 86th Academy Awards on March 2nd, 2014 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO FREDERIC J. BROWN

LONDON: Britain's House of Commons will open its doors to a commercial film crew for the first time next month in a bid to raise cash, welcoming Meryl Streep for a movie about the suffragettes, officials said Tuesday.

The Oscar-winning actress is appearing alongside Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter in the British film "Suffragette", the fictional tale of one woman's fight for the right to vote.

Parliamentary authorities decided last year to try to boost their coffers by renting out parts of the Palace of Westminster when lawmakers are not sitting, although crews will not be allowed to film in the debating chamber.

Alan Haselhurst, chairman of the Commons administration committee, said a film about the fight for women's suffrage a century ago was a perfect way to start.

"As a British film which clearly relates to parliament's history and heritage, this is an ideal pilot for the House of Commons to identify the opportunities for location filming and income generation," he said.

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the British Film Commission, commented: "Opening up such an iconic location as the House of Commons for filming is fantastic news."

Streep won the best actress Oscar, her second, in 2012 for her portrayal of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady", but all parliament scenes were filmed in a mock-up of the famous chamber.

 

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