★ National Day Movie Treat★
When Mamma Mia! came out a decade ago, it made us fall in love with ABBA songs again and got us grooving to Dancing Queen. The riot of a show was highly entertaining, immensely charming and featured a cast with great chemistry. Naturally, when the news of a sequel is coming out, we all rejoiced. But how do we go from the famous storyline first made into a musical to something more? It turns out we don’t have to go too much forward. Instead, the story hurtles us into the past. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again takes us back into Donna’s youth and find out how she came to call the island of Kalokairi and the circumstances which led her to meet her three loves, one of which is Sophie’s real dad.
The first movie brought us a great ensemble cast; we have Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters as three fast friends who shared a bond for decades and it showed on screen. Then we have the three lovers, played by Pierce Brosnan, Bill Skarsgård and Colin Firth. One of the major reasons why Mamma Mia was so enjoyable was seeing these veteran actors in action. It’s hard to beat that kind of depth showed in the first movie.
Lily James (Cinderella), with her youthful charm and exuding plenty of effervesce makes a worthy Donna. In fact, the young actors playing their older counterparts did justice not only in appearance wise, but also play their part well. Let’s take a look at who played the characters in their youth in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
Young Donna – Lily James
With her long, blonde and wavy locks, Lily James is a believable younger version of Meryl Streep. James first came into prominence in the popular TV series Downton Abbey, but landed in the Hollywood spotlight when she snagged the leading role in the 2015 Cinderella. She’s born into a family of artists, her mother was an actress while her dad was an actor and musician. And James has singing chops to boot as well. She is a mezzo-soprano, and can handle her singing in the movie just fine.
Young Tanya - Jessica Keenan Wynn
We all know Baranski lights up every screen she’s in with her sultry, flirty cougar ways. In the first movie, Baranski did a song and dance number with a younger man and there’s no doubt she still got it. Finding a young actress that embodies the confidence and oomph isn’t easy, but actress Jessica Keenan Wynn takes on the challenge with chutzpah. To have Baranski’s type of expressiveness and Tanya’s brazenness, it’s not hard to guess that Wynn is a stage actress. She’s starred in the Heathers: The Musical as one of the Heathers, and found screen roles in movies like The Girl on the Train (2015) and Forever (2015).
Young Rosie - Alexa Davies
Forever alone but constantly looking for love, Julie Walters plays Rosie’s repressed character with perfect comedic timing. Her Take a Chance on Me number still brings a chuckle to our faces at every screening of Mamma Mia!. As young Rosie, actress Alexa Davies fashioned her hair into the older Rosie (it’s amazing how the characters of Mamma Mia! never change their hairdos for decades), and looked just like Walters. Davies embodies Rosie’s sidekick role well, always the backup singer, never the lead. A relatively new name, Davies has been doing bit parts in TV series since 2012. Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again is her first big role.
Young Sam Carmichael - Jeremy Irvine
Played by the suave Pierce Brosnan, Sam is an accomplished architect and Donna’s real true love. Stepping into Brosnan’s big shoes is Jeremy Irvine, who made his film debut in the epic war film War Horse (2011). Since then, he’d been working steadily in movies like Stonewall (2015), The Railway Man (2013) and more. As a young Sam, he was still unsure of himself, finding his way in the world, but the one thing he’s shared with Brosnan is that English good looks.
Young Harry Bright - Hugh Skinner
Harry is a stiff and stuffy banker and it’s hard to imagine he is free-spirited Donna’s type. When the movie shifts into the past, you can see why Donna liked him. Harry wasn’t always like this. Although the younger Harry speaks with the same uncertain, rambling tone as the older Harry (Colin Firth), he was more of an explorer, wanting to sow his wild oats before entering into a life of non-stop work. English film, television, and stage actor Hugh Skinner brings out Harry’s quirks with just the right amount of likeability that endears Donna to him. Skinner started his acting career on stage and worked extensively in TV and stage, and has a bit part role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2016).
Young Bill Anderson - Josh Dylan
A world-renown Swedish sailor and travel writer, Bill has a laidback attitude and a certain charm that the ladies love, especially Rosie. Josh Dylan looks like a younger, skinnier version of Skarsgård, and could easily fit into the Skarsgård acting family. As young Bill, Dylan gives off that same effortless charm of a traveller who’d seen the world. Dylan has been active with stage work, and has won the 2017 Off West End Award for Best Supporting Actor for Sheppey. He is best known for his role as Captain Adam Hunter in Allied (2016). And he is actually British!
Cher and Andy Garcia are new additions to the movie, alongside Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper, who reprise their roles as Sophie and Sky. Cher plays Ruby Sheridan, Sophie’s estranged grandmother who came to make amends, while Garcia plays Fernando Cienfuegos, the manager of the Hotel Bella Donna, refurbished by Sophie to honour Donna, who had passed away.
★ National Day Movie Treat★
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