Mamma Mia world premiere – Benny Andersson talks Abba reunion and the stars are out in force!

Posted by Dean Piper On July 1st, 2008

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I’m the first to admit I was nervous about Mamma Mia! the movie. But I have to say I should have had more belief from the get go – the film is fantastic. It’s hilarious at times, full of camp disco dance sequences and perfectly cast. It also creates the same overpowering feel good factor that the theatre show gives you too!

I went down to the premiere and spoke to most of the cast members last night. I even managed to chat to ABBA legend himself, Benny Andersson. Although it was slightly confusing at first! Initially I stuck my microphone into Benny and couldn’t understand a word he was saying (with all the noise in Leicester Square). We all realised he was rabbiting away in Swedish…..after a minute or two!!!
Benny told me that now the film version of the musical has been completed his involvement with the Mamma Mia franchise was coming to an end. He said: “I think this is enough for the Abba franchise. There’s no theme park planned! I think this is the end of it with Mamma Mia the movie. Unless they want to do a sequel – but we’ll see. It’s a year and a half of hard work on the film so I’m looking forward to see it with an audience. I love the reaction.”
And is there a plan for an Abba Reunion anytime soon? Nope. Benny told me: “There’s no plans for an Abba reunion. The whole Mamma Mia ride has been so brilliant. I wasn’t that involved with the show but I was involved with the movie.”
I also asked Benny (he’s the one with the beard) when he was going to put his feet up and relax. He replied: “I’m doing it soon! In fact from Saturday. We have the premiere on Friday in Stockholm and then I’m off and relaxing. There’s no retirement, I’ll continue to write always.”

I always love bumping into Julie Walters – she star’s in the flick and has all the hilarious comedy moments. I asked Julie if she’d ever done an Abba track at karaoke. “I’ve never done Abba karaoke,” she replied. “But I’d do Dancing Queen obviously if I had the choice.” She also told me that her, Meryl Streep and Christine Baranski became big bosom buddies on the five month long shoot in Greece. And they look like they had fun judging from this film still, don’t they!?

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She wouldn’t reveal who was her favourite hunk though out of the three male leads, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard.
I think personally Julie may prefer the film’s young ‘fittie’ Dominic Cooper. He plays Sky – Sophie’s hubby to be. Dominic’s best pal James Corden, of Gavin and Stacey fame, turned out at the premiere. She’s just wrapped filming on his film project with Matt Horne – Lesbian Vampire Killers and is about to start work on a sketch show for television. They are so going to end up the new Lucas and Walliams…..
Anyway, James also told me that he’s more of a Queen fan when it comes to karaoke classics. James said: “I’m only here because my best friend Dominic is in the film. I haven’t done karaoke Abba – I’m more of a Queen man myself. I always do Don’t Stop Me Now.”

My favourite moment of the night came when Meryl Streep toddled over to fans on the blue carpet wearing towering Louboutin heels. The poor dear put her heel down a pot hole in the ground and a PR had to catch her as she started falling backwards…..that would have been a disaster!

It also made a change having a top party after a film premiere. Held on the Southbank the party had greek drinks, food and music throughout the evening and all the star – including the film’s Executive Producers Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson – turned out to enjoy the social event. Tom’s far skinnier than you would expect in real life – and was surprisingly tanned.
Annoyingly all the stars came to the amazing after party – even Meryl Streep after zooming off while the film was on to record an appearance on Jonathan Ross – but we were all banned from going anywhere near them to have a chat!
How pointless is that??? The answer is VERY POINTLESS……
Message to Meryl and co – we ain’t got cooties!!!!!

I did have an embarrassing encounter at the party though when a blonde lady tapped me on my shoulder and in a posh voice said: “Would you like some food?” And shoved a half eaten plate of greek meze and lamb at me…..
Taking offence at having horrible looking knawed on food shoved in my face and without even looking up (and admittedly rather obnoxiously) I patted said waiter on the shoulder and said no thanks. Seconds later giggling Atomic Kitten star Liz McClarnon poked me and said: “Dean, it’s me you pillock.” She had her hair all wrapped up on top of her head and I didn’t even recognise her as I was working the room! Hilarious!

Anyway, there you have it. Mamma Mia was a blast – and the film is awesome. Go and see it at once.

Also…..you can get the soundtrack to the film – featuring the cast singing Abba classics from Voulez Vous to I Have A Dream! It’s ace and out on July 7th on Polydor!

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