8 fascinating facts about the Mamma Mia films

20 July 2018, 09:11

By Tom Eames

Mamma Mia was one of the most successful musical movies of all time, thanks to its all-star cast and classic music by ABBA.

Now that we can revisit Donna and co in Greece 10 years after the first movie, here are a bunch of fascinating facts about both films that all fans should know...

Mamma Mia 2 - all the details you need to know

  1. Pierce Brosnan had no idea what the film was

    Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia
    Picture: Universal

    The producers told the former James Bond star it was being filmed in Greece, and that Meryl Streep was starring.

    Brosnan said he signed up straight away as it involved Streep, describing her as "that gorgeous blonde I fancied terribly in Drama School."

  2. Meryl Streep wasn't the only choice for Donna

    Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia
    Picture: Universal

    Both Olivia Newton-John and Michelle Pfeiffer were considered to play the role of Donna.

    Meanwhile, Mandy Moore, Amanda Bynes, Rachel McAdams and Emmy Rossum were in the running to play Sophie, and Bill Nighy almost played one of the 'father' roles.

    Donny Osmond was also in the frame for Sam, played by Brosnan.

  3. Dawn French was also cast in the movie

    Dawn French
    Picture: Getty

    Comedy legend Dawn French was originally cast as Rosie. However, after the creators described her character as "the fat, funny one", and the Musical Director was not impressed with her singing, she declined the role.

    In her autobiography Dear Fatty, Dawn said that while she is a fan of ABBA, she is not a huge fan of Mamma Mia", and only agreed to do the film because Meryl Streep was starring.

  4. Cher was meant to be in the first movie

    Cher in Mamma Mia 2
    Picture: Universal

    Cher was initially offered the role of Tanya in Mamma Mia. However, she had to decline the role due to concert tour commitments.

    Thankfully, she later signed on to be star in the sequel Here We Go Again, playing the character Ruby.

  5. Meryl Streep is only three years younger than Cher

    Despite playing her daughter in the second film.

    Awkward.

  6. That baby picture of Summer is really Amanda Seyfried

    Mamma Mia scene
    Picture: Universal

    During the 'Dancing Queen' scene, the photo on Meryl Streep's bedroom mirror is Amanda Seyfried's professional headshot.

    At the end of 'Our Last Summer', Donna is seen holding a collection of photos, including a real-life baby picture of Seyfried.

  7. Nirvana and Mamma Mia use the same font

    Nirvana/Mamma Mia
    Picture: Universal

    Totally different music styles, but one uniting typeface.

    It's called Onyx in case you were interested.

  8. The first movie takes place in the late 1990s

    The trailer for Here We Go Again states that Donna is pregnant in 1979.

    As Sophie is 20 in the first movie, this means it must be around 1998. The second film takes place five years later, meaning that it should be around 2003.

    Mind blown.

Want to sing along to all the Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again hits? The soundtrack is available to stream or download from Apple Music.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again is out now at cinemas, and available to pre-order now on iTunes.