Find out how it all began for Mamma Mia!

Exactly 10 years after the original, the Mamma Mia! gang has reformed for another sun-drenched summer set to a soundtrack of ABBA songs. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again takes us forward and back, as a pregnant Sophie seeks strength from her mum’s past. Let’s meet the characters – both then and now!

DONNA - Then

Played by: Lily James

The Mamma Mia! sequel sees us intermittently travelling back in time to 1979 where we meet a much-younger Donna (delightfully brought to life by Sussex-born Lily James) just as she’s about to get acquainted with Harry, Sam and Bill for the first time.

What else has Lily been in… Cinderella, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Baby Driver.


Played by: Meryl Streep

The reason for our journey into the past? Well, in the present, Sophie – the only child of Donna (now played by Meryl) – is pregnant. In the exact same place that her mum was all those years ago, both literally and figuratively, she looks to Donna’s youthful tribulations for guidance.

What else has Meryl been in… The Post, The Devil Wears Prada, The Iron Lady.


HARRY – Then

Played by: Hugh Skinner

In the original Mamma Mia! movie, Sophie discovers – through naughtily reading her mum’s diary – that she has three possible dads. Dot. Dot. Dot. Harry is one of these possibles. Sweet and sensitive, he makes a big impression on young Donna.

What else has Hugh been in… TV’s The Windsors, TV’s W1A, Hampstead. 


Played by: Colin Firth

Grown-up Harry is still sweet, but not exactly what you’d call spontaneous. But even this uptight British banker can’t say no when Sophie invites him back to the beautiful Greek island of Kalokairi where he first romanced her mother.

What else has Colin been in… The King’s Speech, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Bridget Jones’s Diary.

SAM – Then

Played by: Jeremy Irvine

Another of Sophie’s potential dads, Sam is charm personified. When he stops his motorcycle to see if Donna needs help, she falls head over heels for him. But their brief affair comes to a crunching halt when Sam reveals he’s engaged.

What else has Jeremy been in… War Horse, The Railway Man. 

SAM – Now

Played by: Pierce Brosnan

As we find out at the end of the first movie, American Sam (now an architect) always regretted leaving Donna that summer – although to be fair to him, he did try and return. Amends were made and older Sam and Donna were wed. But is this still the case? You’ll have to book your ticket to find out!

What else has Pierce been in… The World Is Not Enough, The Lawnmower Man, Dante’s Peak.

BILL – Then

Played by: Josh Dylan

Why have two flings when you can have three? As wild and free as the ocean he loves to sail on, Donna can’t resist adventurer Sam’s windswept charms when she crosses paths with him. It turns out she is that sort of girl.

What else has Josh been in… Allied, the upcoming The Little Stranger. 

BILL – Now

Played by: Stellan Skarsgård

A travel writer with few possessions and even fewer strings, Bill’s first love will always be the sea (although Rosie did catch his eye in the first movie). Like Harry and Bill, he’s absolutely thrilled to learn of Sophie’s pregnancy.

What else has Stellan been in… Good Will Hunting, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Thor.

ROSIE – Then

Played by: Alexa Davies

Best friend to Donna and Tanya and one third of Donna and the Dynamos, Rosie is fun, kooky and fiercely protective of her pals. She’s there with a shoulder to cry on when her friend gets her heart broken not once, not twice, but thrice.

What else has Alexa been in… Absolutely Anything, The Five, TV’s Detectorists.  


Played by: Julie Walters 

Lucky in life (she’s now a best-selling author), but not in love (“My soul mate may actually be carbs”), quirky Rosie has remained steadfast friends with Donna and – by proxy – Sophie through the years, even though she doesn’t see them very often. 

What else has Julie been in… Billy Elliot, the Harry Potter series, Paddington.

TANYA – Then

Played by: Jessica Keenan Wynn

Feisty, flirty and a heck of a singer, Tanya is initially bemused when she learns of Donna’s Greek flings. But then she finds out about the baby and promises to do everything she can to help the soon-to-be single mum.

What else has Jessica been in… The Girl on the Train, TV’s Forever. 


Played by: Christine Baranski

Comfortably well-off (due to multiple divorces), these days Tanya is a bigger fan of wine than she is men. When Sophie calls and requests her presence, she races to be there – anything for Donna’s daughter.

What else has Christine been in… TV’s The Good Wife, A Bad Moms Christmas, Into the Woods.

RUBY (New Entry)

Played by: Cher

Cher is one of many new faces joining the cast of Mamma Mia 2, as Sophie's previously unseen grandmother Ruby. She makes a dramatic entrance in the franchise's latest trailer, gatecrashing her granddaughter's party.  Everyone's question now is if she's going to sing and what...

What else has Cher been in...The Witches of Eastwick, Moonstruck , Burlesque. 

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