LONDON – She’s a double Oscar winner with a knack for accents. But Meryl Streep says playing Margaret Thatcher was “extremely daunting,” even though her own experience helped her understand the struggles faced by Britain’s first female prime minister.

Streep is transformed into the divisive politician who reshaped Britain in “The Iron Lady,” which had its European premiere in London on Wednesday, just across the River Thames from the Houses of Parliament.

Streep, who won Academy Awards for “Kramer Vs. Kramer” and “Sophie’s Choice,” said her youthful experience as one of a handful of women at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire helped her understand Thatcher’s isolation. In 1970, Streep spent a term as an exchange student at the men-only college, which became coeducational in 1972.

“There were 60 of us and 6,000 men, and I had a little flashback to that moment,” Streep said. “And so a little bit of my emotional work was done for me.”

Streep, 62, has been nominated for a Golden Globe and looks likely to get a 17th Oscar nomination for her spookily accurate performance as Thatcher, who led Britain from 1979 until 1990.

As prime minister, Thatcher fought a war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands, saw the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of communism, presided over the decline of Britain’s industrial might and was branded “The Iron Lady” by Soviet journalists for her steely resolve.

That historical drama is only glimpsed in “The Iron Lady,” which depicts the now 86-year-old Thatcher, widowed after the death of husband Denis (Jim Broadbent), looking back on her life as a provincial grocer’s daughter rising to the top of a Conservative Party dominated by wealthy men.

Streep said although the film has been called a political biopic, “I was interested in it precisely because it wasn’t really that.

“It’s a subjective imagining,” she said. “It’s not the God’s-eye-view chronicling this side, that side, the politics of it. It’s a very deep look at a whole life — from the end of it.”

Grocery chain sticking with Baldwin ads after all

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A New York-based supermarket chain has had a change of heart about grounding Alec Baldwin as a spokesman because of his antics aboard an American Airlines flight.

Wegmans Food Markets said Wednesday it will continue running television ads featuring Baldwin after being inundated with “hundreds and hundreds of tweets, emails and phone calls” in support of the actor.

“We regret ending the Alec Baldwin holiday commercials one week earlier than planned in response to a couple of dozen complaints,” Wegmans said in a statement. “We have decided to run the commercials again, effective immediately. Clearly, many more people support Alec.”

Baldwin was removed from a flight at Los Angeles International Airport on Dec. 6 for refusing to turn off his cellphone.

Sinead’s split from hubby short-lived

Sinead O’Connor’s love life has another chapter. She announced on Twitter that she’s back with her husband of less than a month.

The Irish singer, who married Dublin substance-abuse counselor Barry Herridge in Las Vegas in early December, then announced their separation a couple of weeks later because her family and friends objected, has called off the divorce proceedings.

As she put it late Tuesday, “Yay!!! me husband is a big hairy cave man an came to claim me with his club : ) and now im in cave-land. yay!!”

When one fan, who obviously doesn’t speak cave man, tweeted to ask for confirmation that the singer now wasn’t getting divorced, O’Connor responded, “Yup that’s wot it means. An I can add to my lingerie collection.”