10 Details of “Mamma Mia!” That Most of Us Have Probably Missed

year ago

Musicals have their own touch, and in the case of Mamma Mia!, the producers went the extra mile by including the best-known songs from the musical group ABBA, combining them with beautiful Greek landscapes and actors singing in their voices. With rumors about a possible third installment, it’s time to revisit this love story we remember fondly.

1. It was the debut of Rachel McDowall and Ashley Lilley.

Actress Rachel McDowall took the role of Lisa, Sophie’s best friend in the film. Another actress who also debuted was Ashley Lilley, who played Ali, one of Sophie’s bridesmaids. On-screen, the three were best friends and always had each other’s back.

However, that friendship wasn’t just fictional. Both McDowall and Lilley get on well with Amanda Seyfried, and the star herself has confirmed this.

2. Meryl Streep got the role thanks to a letter.

In 2001, Meryl Streep attended the Broadway musical Mamma Mia!. After that, she wrote them a letter to thank them for the show, never imagining that the cast would make copies and distribute them to each other.

Years later, Streep got the surprise of her life when she was invited to join the cast of the film version. Needless to say, it was a pleasant surprise; as a child, Meryl took opera singing lessons, had sung in other productions such as Hollywood Remembers, and loved the songs of ABBA.

3. The film is set in Greece, but many scenes were shot in England.

The outdoor scenes were mostly shot on the Greek island of Skopelos, on a beach where a pier and beach bar were built and later removed. Donna’s Greek villa was created at Pinewood Studios, a studio located in England. Real trees were used to show a more natural environment, which were set in the sun and watered daily.

4. There was a small reference to ABBA.

It’s well known that the film covers ABBA’s hits, such as “Dancing Queen.” But there are also a few details that reference the group, and among them are the letters Sophie sends to her supposed parents. It can be read that she wrote “B.U. Anderson” on one of them. The acronym “B.U.” stands for Bjorn Ulvaeus, a member of the band.

5. Heavy metal music was played backstage.

In the film, there is a scene that includes a brief clip of Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried laughing. According to the director, they had to play heavy metal music to get the actresses to laugh a little. During filming, all the cast members sang for real, and in addition to the ABBA hits, they also had original songs that were included in the original musical.

6. Some members of ABBA appeared on stage.

In the part where the cast performs the song “Dancing Queen,” Benny Andersson is seen playing the piano. And, toward the end of the film, Bjorn Ulvaeus appears dressed as a Greek god. Both are members of the band ABBA.

7. The scene of “Money Money” was filmed in different locations.

According to Meryl Streep, when they sang the song “Money Money,” they had to shoot it in different sections. They used different special effects with green and blue screens, plus they put a kind of tunnel underneath the boat. For the actress, it was quite a fun moment because of the freedom she was given to improvise.

8. Pierce Brosnan accepted the role only because Meryl Streep was there.

At the time of signing on for the role, actor Pierce Brosnan had no idea what the film was about. He only knew that it would be shot in Greece and that Meryl Streep was part of the cast. That was more than enough for him to accept his role because he is an admirer.

His experience was pretty good, considering he was long known for being James Bond. Still, he said he would have liked to have been in a musical much earlier. Not only did he come out singing, but he performed ABBA’s songs, which made it special for him.

9. Real photos of Amanda Seyfried were used in some scenes.

When they sing “Dancing Queen,” the scene features a mirror with a professional photo of Amanda Seyfried. Later, in the scene from “Our Last Summer,” Donna is shown holding up some photos, and among them is a baby girl, who is none other than Seyfried herself.

10. Sophie was barefoot on her wedding day.

During the wedding scene, Sophie is seen wearing a rather loose dress, accompanied by a tulle that falls to her skirt and a laurel headdress. But most notably, she had her hair down and her feet bare, a perfect match for her free-spirited Greek island lifestyle.


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