How can I resist you?

MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIE premiere at Melbourne Central

Last night was the Australian premiere of MAMMA MIA! in Melbourne.

Thanks to Helga and the ABBA Fan Club, I was lucky enough to attend the premiere and after party, with old friends David, Manuel, Mark and Terri and new friend Jason (who told me he’s a regular ABBA World blog reader – hi Jason!).

Jason, Manuel, Terri, David and Mark

The evening started with the red carpet arrivals and pre-movie champagne in the foyer. We could watch the arrivals on a large screen, though we couldn’t really hear what was being said. Anticipation was high waiting for the arrival of stars Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Dominic Cooper. We got to see them on the screen, and live from three stories up, before being ushered into the cinema.

Every seat in the cinema had a MAMMA MIA! bag with lots of goodes – chocolates, skin care products, make up, discount vouchers, and a MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIE iPod nano sleeve, in glorious pink!

Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Dominic Cooper introduce the movie with MC Adam Richards

Once everyone had taken their seats, the three stars were introduced and said a few words from the front on the cinema, then Meryl took her seat in the cinema (five rows behind our group) for the movie, while Colin and Dominic left. The movie got a great reaction from the audience, with spontaneous applause after several songs. Everyone called out “yeah” when, in the “megamix” section at the end of the film, Meryl as Donna asks us if we want another song.

During ‘Waterloo’ streamers and confetti were shot out over the audience, matching what was happening on screen.

When the megamix ended and ‘Thank You For The Music’ started, Meryl left the cinema to a standing ovation, giving a little bow and wave on the way out.

Dominic Cooper and meThen we were all bundled on to buses to go to the after party at Alumbra at Docklands. The stars were unfortunately mostly inaccessible. First they were in a separate room upstairs, then hidden away in a roped-off corner with security. Colin Firth was kind enough to be photographed with some eager female fans, while Dominic Cooper appeared on the dance floor momentarily and gave autograph and was photographed with fans – I was lucky enough to get one of each. Meryl Streep was hardly seen until near the end of the party, when she was rushed out by her entourage and didn’t acknowledge people calling out her name for a photo opportunity.

Courtney Act performing Mamma MiaDrag queen and singer Courntey Act performed a medley of ABBA hits including ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’ and ‘Mamma Mia’, to backing tracks that sounded like Abbacadabra. This was the first ABBA music of the night, which then led to half of dozen of so real ABBA songs before returning to standard 70s disco music. A few more ABBA songs were played later on, each one filling the dance floor immediately.

There were a few local celebrities in the crowd. Mark Holden (former pop singer and Australian Idol judge), Tim Ferguson (of the Doug Anthony Allstars), Tim Campbell (Million Dollar Wheel host), Hamish and Andy (of radio and TV), apparently other stars of TV that I didn’t recognise. Rhonda Birchmore, Lara Mulcahy and Joylon James who played Tanya, Rosie and Sky in the Australian stage production were also there.

(Mark Holden has a previous ABBA connection: his 1976 hit ‘I Wanna Make You My Lady’ was an English cover of a Ted Gäredestad song. Ted was a Polar recording artist whose early albums were produced by Benny and Björn).

MAMMA MIA! opens in cinemas across Australia (and New Zealand, Norway and the UK) today.

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8 Responses to “How can I resist you?”

  1. Ice Says:

    You mean the stars left before hearing ‘Does Your Mother Know?’ (by, I strongly presume BAO)?

    Criminal!!! 😉

  2. Ian Cole Says:

    We all left the cinema during ‘Does Your Mother Know’. How naughty!

    We were talking about it on the night and suspect that it’s by BAO. It certainly sounds like it.

  3. Jonah Rank Says:

    It would have been a better film if they had included “Genetic Test” which ABBA rejected from me in 1973 back when I was writing all of their songs for them. You can hear the song at my website.

    You can read the full story at http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=88517312&blogID=412742235&Mytoken=71769154-C1B7-4C40-BFA961C545DC0CF43181893 .

  4. Ian Cole Says:

    Uh huh…

  5. Samuel Inglles Says:

    Hi IAN

    Here’s articles on ‘Mamma Mia!-The Movie’ from the 10th of July. One day after the Melbourne premiere. They are mostly interviews with Meryl Streep who has an enormous amount of GRACE, CHARM and CHARISMA.

    Kind Regards
    Samuel Inglles

    The Age (Melbourne) – Thursday, 10 July 2008 (Page 3)

    Multi-skilled Streep turns her hand to ‘Mamma Mia!’ and other ABBA gems: Meryl delights. So does Mr Darcy. By Philippa Hawker and Lorna Edwards.

    Meryl Streep – of the fabulous cheekbones, the 14 Oscar nominations and the United Nations assembly of movie accents – doesn’t seem the obvious choice for ‘Mamma Mia!’ the movie musical.

    But song and dance is not a novelty for her: she has sung on screen several times before, and has often performed in musicals – from high school days to her first show on Broadway to her last appearance on stage in New York in 2006.

    Last night, Streep and co-star British actor Colin Firth brought some Hollywood hoopla to the film’s Melbourne premiere at Melbourne’s Central.

    Thousands of fans lined three levels under the dome at Melbourne Central and patiently endured the two-hour trickle of local celebrities across the red carpet before they got a glimpse of the movie’s stars.

    When Streep was finally whisked before the photographers the crowd erupted in a loud cheer, which was possibly eclipsed by the enthusiastic welcome for Firth, most affectionately known to his fans as Mr Darcy from ‘Pride And Prejudice’.

    “You always remember your Firth time,” read the placard of one devotee.

    Streep said earlier that she saw the stage show of ‘Mamma Mia!’ when it premiered in New York in October 2001, in the aftermath of 9/11. She took her young daughter and some friends along, and found it a welcome source of joie de vivre at a difficult time. She wrote the producers a note of appreciation. But she certainly had not been looking for a singing role. “I’m really a girl who waits to be asked to dance. I’m just dependent on the offers that come,” she says.

    But, having been asked to play in the movie, she took up the challenge with gusto. ‘Mamma Mia!’, a worldwide stage hit with a plot constructed around ABBA’s best known songs, was shot in England and Greece.

    Streep recorded one of her songs in Stockholm, in the studio that ABBA used in the 1970s: “same microphone, the same shag pile carpet on the wall”. It felt like quite a responsibility, she says.

    ABBA’s Benny was at the keyboards, Streep recalls, “and he said to me, ‘we haven’t done this for years, we’re just going to feel our way through it’. But that was the one that was used.”

    Sometimes, she says, that’s the way it works, “when you’re listening to each other closely, and not worried about yourself”, you get it right

    Photo: Meryl Streep and her ‘Mamma Mia!’ co-star, Colin Firth, at the Melbourne premiere at Melbourne Central last night. Background: Streep in a scene from the film.

    The Courier-Mail (Brisbane) – Friday, 10 July 2008 (Pages 46 & 47)

    Queen Meryl is dancing for ABBA: Meryl Streep took the lead in Mamma Mia! in a bid to promote women’s roles in films. By Vicky Roach

    Meryl Streep has never been afraid of a challenge. But her latest role – as a single mother who runs a hotel on a picturesque Greek island – turned out to be a stretch even for an actor of her prodigious talent.

    In one early scene, for example, she was required to scale the whitewashed walls of a crumbling barn house while belting out the ABBA song ‘Mamma Mia”.

    Not long afterwards, she found herself sliding down a banister with two middle-aged co-stars (Julie Walters and Christine Baranski) to the extraordinarily infectious strains of ‘Dancing Queen’.

    And in a cinematic sequence towards the end of the film, she had to deliver a heart-rending version of ‘The Winner Takes It All’ while climbing a 75-degree incline to the hilltop church where her daughter (Amanda Seyfried) is about to be married.

    “I should have prepared more than I did,” Streep admitted in Sydney yesterday.

    “But I really did think, I’ll sing as good or as bad as I do for this. I’ll just be the size and shape and person that I am. Nothing more. Nothing less.”

    The resulting performance is vulnerable, accessible and surprisingly girly.

    The role of Donna in the movie version of ‘Mamma Mia!’ – which tells the story of a bride-to-be, her mum, and three potential fathers (Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård) through the songs of 1970s supergroup ABBA – is not one you would immediately envisage for a woman who is widely regarded as the world’s greatest living actress.

    Streep’s comic abilities are not to be underestimated – as she recently illustrated – in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ for which she received her 14th Oscar nomination.

    But she is best known for her dramatic performances, most lately as a veteran political journalist in ‘Lions For Lambs’ and as a CIA dragon lady in ‘Rendition’.

    What’s more, at 59, one might reasonably have expected her to leave the dungarees she wears in the film’s opening sequence to her daughters, now aged 17, 22 and 24. (She also has a son, 28),

    ‘Mamma Mia!’, however, actively reinforces the idea that, no matter what our chronological age, each of us has an inner dancing queen.

    “That’s exactly right,” says Streep.

    “But we also have the disapprobation of our teenagers, which for me was part of the reason to do it – to make them cringe. “I’m not allowed to sing at home so I thought: ‘All right, I’ll sing in a movie. That ought to get ’em.”

    Streep says she was drawn to the Phyllida Lloyd’s film – and the earlier stage production, which she saw with her youngest daughter in New York, not long after September 11, 2001 – because it celebrates the things she values in her own life: friends, family, relationships, and an exuberant appetite for living.

    “You don’t want to ever stop being young a heart – jumping, dancing, having your heart leap. And why should you?

    “Certainly I’m in a business that’s all about not living to an expectation that I look a certain way all the time, or that I’m going to behave a certain way, or that there’s an appropriate way to behave.

    “If I were a doctor or lawyer or a stockbroker I’d probably think about that much more. But I’d probably not do very well in those positions because I like to push the boundaries in a little bit more.”

    After a career that has spanned something like 40 films, and a record number of Oscar nominations, Streep is seldom required to audition for a role.

    But ABBA’s Benny Andersson, who didn’t release the rights to the music until days before filming started, got her to do exactly that. Streep met Andersson in a rehearsal room in the bowels of New York’s Lincoln Centre soon after she learned she had won the coveted role – ostensibly to see if any key changes were required.

    “He had this little twinkle in his eye and he was very welcoming. But about half-way through, I realised I was doing an audition, and that if everything did not go well, I would not be doing the musical. And then I got really nervous.

    “But I think it’s a good thing to feel unnerved and on the spot,” Streep says. “My private mantra has always been: ‘Do what you don’t want to do’.

    “We have all had dreams where we had a test that was due, or we were in a play and we weren’t aware we were cast in the lead.

    “I think we’re at our best when the most is asked of us, especially when we ask the most of ourselves. When we move on to unfamiliar ground. And certainly that was part of this.”

    But for Streep, the major motivation factor in signing on for ‘Mamma Mia!’ was simply to be a part of it. “I wanted to live in hat world.”

    She is wary of any attempts to label the recent success as ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and more recently ‘Sex And The City’ as some kind of burgeoning trend.

    “If you believe that money drives the dream, and the bottom line determines what you are going to see on screen – and that is true – the people who are in charge of making those decisions are almost uniformly men and they will never, as a group, live their own fantasies out through a female protagonist.

    “It always takes them aback when they are able to do so. And they are shocked, shocked, when something strikes a public chord that isn’t their own dream of being The Hulk or Iron Man or Batman or Spider-Man. Whereas female audiences have been empathising with the male protagonists of movies ever since movies were invented. And before that through literature.

    “We don’t have the same problem of entering a hero’s head and imagining it’s happening to us.”

    Streep points out that advances have been made further down the development ladder, where more women are now employed, and thus, more “women’s films” are being pushed forward.

    “But I don’t think you can see it as a trend ever, because (the studio heads) have to relearn this lesson every time.

    “When the budget came forward for ‘Mamma Mia!’, it was the size of a peanut next to the other Summer films. They are going to do very well with it and it’s going to be a complete and utter shock to them. Again.”

    It’s a subject that’s obviously close to Streep’s heart, which is why she has embarked upon her first star tour in many years to support the release of the film.

    “Yes, it is important to me that the feeling I have is corroborated by the market.

    “It’s important for all films that have women in them in the central role, with the men more to the side, because usually it’s the other way around.”

    ‘Mamma Mia!’ opens today.

    My, my, how could we resist, and with all that spandex, too? By David Murray

    Meryl Streep doing the splits? Pierce Brosnan singing and dancing? And Colin Firth, well, where to start? He is in a wet shirt but it’s more Mardi Gras than Mr Darcy.

    The ensemble cast put together to bring the blockbuster stage musical ‘Mamma Mia!’ to the screen seems to include some rather unusual choices, to say the least.

    But when these otherwise “serious” actors burst on to the screen, tongues firmly in-cheeks, and begin enthusiastically hamming it up, it all starts to make sense.

    ‘Mamma Mia!’ is not about taking yourself, or anyone else, too seriously. After all, it is a musical based around the songs of ABBA. Enough said.

    Not that there weren’t moments of doubt. Swede Stellan Skarsgård, star of heavyweight films such as ‘Ronin’, ‘Breaking The Waves’ and ‘Dogville’, admits to doing a bit of shoe-gazing during production. And when he noticed they were platform shoes he was gazing at, the panic set in.

    “I felt silly, it was ridiculous,” Skarsgård says of one particular scene which involved al the older cast members and a lot of spandex. “We looked at each other and we were convinced none of us would ever work again.”

    But in the end the spirit of fun which defines ‘Mamma Mia!’ won out.

    “The very idea of the production is you have to allow yourself to be very silly and throw your pride away at the door,“ Skarsgård says.

    Or as acclaimed British actor Colin Firth puts it when describing the same scene: “You can’t get half-hearted once you’re wearing that. You just have to play up to it, it’s as simple as that.”

    Firth adds: “One of my reasons for taking the job was that costume, really.

    “You are an actor because you’re an old queen. Whatever reason people give, it’s because you wanted to put mascara and a frock on, that’s your main instinct – and I just saw the fun in it.”

    As a stage show ‘Mamma Mia!’ has taken the world by storm, with ticket sales of more than 30 million across 170 cities. A whole new audience now beckons in cinemas around the world.

    Following the same story as the stage incarnation, Amanda Seyfried (‘Mean Girls’) plays bride-to-be Sophie, raised on a Greek island by her hippie mother, Donna (Streep).

    Sophie has never known who her father is and uses her mother’s diary to identify three suspects (Brosnan, Firth, Skarsgård).

    She secretly invites all three “dads” to her wedding, hoping to recognise her father on sight.

    Meanwhile mum, Donna, reunites with riotous friends and former girl-band mates, Rosie (Julie Walters) and Tanya (Christine Baranski).

    ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus are in on the project and have cameo roles. The pair admits it was initially a struggle to think of actors to play Donna, who has the majority of songs. They came up with a shortlist of about four names – and Streep wasn’t among them.

    “We didn’t know she could sing,” says Andersson.

    It was the three women responsible for the success of the stage show, producer Judy Craymer, screenwriter Catherine Johnson and director Phyllida Lloyd, who suggested Streep.

    The trio had kept a fan letter the actor wrote after seeing the show in New York with her 10-year old daughter.

    When approached, Streep said: “When can we start? Her name alone was enough to convince the rest of the big name cast to jump on board.

    Andersson went to New York to meet Streep and run through some songs. The session was “a piece of cake – she didn’t hit one wrong note”, says the ABBA star.

    The two-time Oscar winner found the role one of the most physically challenging of her distinguished career, however. The film required the astonishingly lithe 59-year-old to bound from scene to scene – in one she even does the splits.

    “I don’t even remember going to be. I think my daughter would take my clothes off because I was so tired,” she says.

    In contrast, Brosnan was not a fan of singing, musicals or ABBA. He admits thinking “What have I done?” when he saw the London stage show ‘Mamma Mia!’

    “I just kept the mantra ‘Meryl’s in it, I’m working with Meryl’,” he says. The former James Bond won’t be giving up his day job to launch a singing career.

    Cool – ABBA

    Their rare appearance together at the Swedish red carpet event of the ‘Mamma Mia!’ movie raised hopes that the pop supergroup would reunite. Unfortunately, they have scotched the rumours and fans will not get to see the awesome foursome perform together in the future. Björn said money wasn’t an issue, they just want fans to always remember them as the dancing queens they once were.

    The Sydney Morning Herald – Friday, 10-17 July 2008 (Page 7)

    METRO – Film

    Send the S.O.S.: Panic struck a trio of Mamma Mia!’s stars on meeting ABBA’s songwriters. By Craig Mathieson and Garry Maddox.

    Phyllida Lloyd has heard ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ and ‘Waterloo’ more times than you can imagine.

    The highly respected English stage director has spent the past 10 years regularly appraising ‘Mamma Mia!’, the international hit stage musical she has now ushered onto the big screen directing a cast that includes Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth.

    “People say to me, ‘God, you must hear ‘Dancing Queen’ now and groan,’ but the music never gets boring and it’s still a pleasure,” notes the 51-year-old, phoning from New York. “It’s a mark of something about the piece, and fundamentally the music, that it just has this enduring appeal.”

    Lloyd, who missed ABBA in the 1970s because she was in an “eccentric” boarding school, was the unexpected choice to direct the original 1999 production in London’s West End. Her theatre and opera credits included Euripides (‘Medea’), Joe Orton (‘What The Butler Saw’) and Wagner (‘The Ring Cycle’). Swedish pop melodies were decidedly lacking.

    “In no way is it artistically schizophrenic. It’s all part of one thing and one approach,” Lloyd explains. “What I’ve learnt from the other work is that while you have to be ferociously committed to what you want to achieve and not leave a single thing to chance in making a big project happen, you’ve also got to be incredibly open to the thoughts of everyone around you.”

    The breezy, song-packed storyline for ‘Mamma Mia!’ unfolds on a Greek island, where Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is about to get married. Hoping to meet the father she’s never known, she reads the diary of her mother, Donna (Streep), and secretly invites the three probable candidates: American Sam (Brosnan), Bit Harry (Firth) and Swede Bill (Stellan Skarsgård). Complications, scored by vintage ABBA hits, ensue.

    “I now think they are quite simply brilliant,” Firth says of the Swedish group’s many hits.

    “It’s nothing to do with ironic 1970s retro. They’re just extremely bloody good songs. They’re here 35 years later for that reason alone. It’s amazing how much passion and reflectiveness is in them. And they’re written by a lyricist who was not writing in his own language.”

    Lloyd’s only experience behind the camera had been a low-budget taping of Benjamin Britten’s opera ‘Gloriana’ in 2000, so she was surprised to be offered the director’s chair. However, she believes that for both projects she was the best person for the job.

    “You have to honestly feel that you’re the keeper of the keys,” Lloyd says. “In the theatre you rehearse with a group of actors and you can have days where you wait for something to happen, for combustion and magic to appear.

    “It’s a long game, like cricket. And you can still improve the show after it actually starts. With film you have to score a bull’s eye every day. It’s like opening a theatre show for 80 consecutive days.”

    Along the way she was able to overcome barriers, from restructuring the story with writer Catherine Johnson for the screen to finding eight principal actors who could sing and dance – or getting through moments of anxiety on the set when she would silently wish to escape if the right composition for a shot eluded her.

    What she hadn’t foreseen was the final hurdle of overseeing the incidental music with ABBA’s two songwriters, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus.

    “We’d be working together and I’d have an idea that I’d try to sing,” Lloyd recalls. “Benny would just give me this look: withering pity is probably the best description.”

    For Firth, the decisive moment came when the cast recorded the soundtrack before the shoot. He, Brosnan and Skarsgård all doubted they had the required vocal chops. When the trio came face to face with Andersson and Ulvaeus, Firth could see “a spiral of fear” in the eyes of his co-stars.

    “We were suddenly bonded by blind terror,” he says. “Benny and Björn worked so brilliantly with us and made us feel so much better about it that we were all kind of teenyboppers by the end of half an hour. We were standing like the Andrews Sisters by the microphone singing ‘Waterloo’.

    “Everything on this film was enjoyable once we’d crossed a few fear thresholds. What I think the magic of it is for the audience is we all know the songs and we all have a past as well. So you hear the fist three notes of a song and everyone is suddenly connected.”

    smh.com.au/metro
    See the trailer

  6. Samuel Inglles Says:

    Hi Ian

    More articles involving Meryl Sreep, Colin Firth etc. in Sydney/Australia.

    Kind Regards
    Samuel Inglles

    The Courier-Mail (Brisbane) – Wednesday, 9 July 2008 (Page 32)

    Benny Björn and blind terror.

    Meryl Streep might have been nominated for an Oscar 14 times – more than any other actor – but she has told News Limited film writer Vicky Roach that ABBA’s Benny Andersson still required her to audition for a role in the movie version of ‘Mamma Mia!’

    “He vehemently denies this, but I know he retained the right to veto any choices right till the very end,” said the 59-year-old star in Sydney yesterday.

    “In fact, they didn’t release the rights to the music until just before we started shooting.”

    Streep met Andersson in a rehearsal room in the bowels of New York’s Lincoln Centre soon after securing the role – presumably to see if any key changes were required.

    “He had this little twinkle in his eye and he was very welcoming. But about half way through, I realised I was doing an audition, and that if everything did not go well, I would not be doing the musical. And then I got really nervous.”

    Two hours and no notation changes later, Streep was finally able to relax.

    According to co-star Colin Firth, every member of the ‘Mamma Mia!’ cast – which includes Pierce Brosnan, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski and Stellan Skarsgård – had a “Björn and Benny” moment

    “Walking into the studio for the first time – Stellan, Pierce and myself – all three of us felt we couldn’t do it,” said Firth yesterday.

    “To just look at this spiral of fear Pierce’s eyes…we were certainly bonded by blind terror.

    “But Benny and Björn worked so brilliantly with us and made us feel so much better about it we were all teenyboppers by the end of half an hour.”

    The Australian (Sydney) – Wednesday, 9 July 2008 (Page 3)

    THE NATION

    Drama queen tunes up as dancing queen. By Michael Bodey

    Cinema audiences know Meryl Streep as a meticulous dramatic actor with more Academy Award nominations – 14 – than any other.

    But now she can be seen exuberantly, and quite unexpectedly, bouncing around to ABBA songs on a Greek island in the hit film ‘Mamma Mia!’

    Streep stars as an all-singing, all-dancing hotel-owner preparing for her daughter’s wedding in the film adaptation of the stage musical.

    “I should have prepared more than I did, but it was really fun,” she said in Sydney yesterday.

    “I realised I was not going to be (famed Russian dancer, Maya) Plisetskaya or anything, I’m not a great dancer. I’m not a great singer but, well, I sing and dance well enough to run a hotel, which is what (her character) Donna does.”

    Streep has returned to Australia for the first time since filming the drama about Lindy Chamberlain, ‘Evil Angels’, more than 20 years ago. She is promoting ‘Mamma Mia!’ with co-stars Dominic Cooper and Colin Firth.

    The film has its Australian premiere in Melbourne tonight, and the film’s success in Australia, at least, in cinema’s surest bet this year.

    The stage musical has been seen by more than 30 million people worldwide and is approaching its 10th anniversary on London’s West End and seventh on Broadway.

    “Every day we seem to have one song stuck in our head, which becomes infuriating after a while,” Cooper said.

    Firth joked that he and Cooper had woken up next to each other on their flight from Europe to Australia, groggily slurring ‘Chiquitita’ or ‘Our Last Summer’.

    But Firth, and English heart-throb best known for his upright roles as Mr Darcy in ‘Pride And Prejudice’ and Mark Darcy in the ‘Bridget Jone’s Diary’ series admitted singing ABBA songs was more his style than bodice-rippers.

    “I became an actor. If I had to nail why, it wouldn’t have been to be Mr Darcy,” he said. “It was far more to do with putting on purple spandex and a lot of slap and prancing around.”

    Streep, however, was the star of the show yesterday, even though the Sydney media was content to quiz her with inane questions about being a parent, her favourite co-star to kiss and the perennial, “How are you enjoying our beautiful country?”

    “It’s great. We’ve only been here a day,” she deadpanned, dramatic to the end.

    Photo: Star turn – Colin Firth and Meryl Streep promoting their new movie in Sydney yesterday.

    The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) – Wednesday, 9 July 2008 (Page 30)

    Mamma Mia! stars take it to the Bridge.

    She has been nominated for an Oscar 14 times in her long and stellar career, but ABBA’s Benny Andersson still required Meryl Streep to audition for a role in the movie adaptation of ‘Mamma Mia!’

    “He vehemently denies this, but I know he retained the right to veto any choices right ‘til the very end,” Streep told film editor Vicky Roach.

    “In fact, they didn’t release the rights to the music until just before we started shooting.”

    The veteran star revealed she met Andersson in the bowels of New York’s Lincoln Centre soon after director Phyllida Lloyd confirmed that she had the coveted lead role – ostensibly to see if any key changes were required.

    “He had this little twinkle in his eye and he was very welcoming. But about halfway through, I realised I was doing an audition, and that if everything did not go well I would not be doing the musical. And then I got really nervous.”

    According to co-star Colin Firth, every member of ‘Mamma Mia!’s’ cast – including Pierce Brosnan, Julie Walters, Christine Baranski and Amanda Seyfried – had their Björn and Benny moment. Based on the successful stage show, which has sold more than 30 million tickets worldwide, ‘Mamma Mia!’ is the story of a young woman’s quest to find her father, set to ABBA songs.

    “Walking into the studio for the first time we felt we couldn’t do it,” Firth said. “To look at this spiral of fear in Pierce’s eyes…we were certainly bonded by blind terror.”

  7. Samuel Inglles Says:

    Hi IAN

    An article on the Australian premiere red carpet satellite technology.

    Kind Regards
    Samuel Inglles

    The Courier-Mail (Brisbane) – Tuesday, 8 July 2008 (Page 21)

    Mamma Marvel.

    The stars of ‘Mamma Mia!’ might not be making a trip to Brisbane to walk the red carpet but by the grace of satellite technology the lucky few invited to the Queensland premiere will still get a piece of the action.

    The movie’s stars, including Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Dominic Cooper, will be beamed from the Melbourne red carpet to the big screen in the Regent Cinema in the Queen St. Mall.

    Guests at tomorrow night’s Brisbane premiere will watch the live satellite cross the red carpet before they watch the actual film. The feed will be beamed live from Melbourne to Brisbane and Sydney and then Perth and Adelaide will see it at a short time later.

  8. chloe Says:

    i loved the movie i think meryl streep did brilliant in fact she was my favourite character

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