From Moviestore Collection/Rex/Rex USA.
There are few things more challenging for a modern actress than acting alongside Meryl Streep. The three-time Oscar winner is a living legend, often held up as the modern standard-bearer of greatness. As such, acting alongside her is like going through the movie Olympics, competing with and complementing the best of the best.
But Lily James is about to do something even more stressful than that—by playing a young Streep in the upcoming Mamma Mia sequel (titled Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again). According to Deadline, the Baby Driver actress has been cast to play the 20-something version of Streep’s character, Donna, in the upcoming musical’s flashback scenes. The flashbacks will “show how relationships forged in the past resonate in the present,” Deadline notes. Mamma Mia, if you don’t recall, is about a mother (Streep) and her daughter (Amanda Seyfried) trying to determine who the girl’s father is before her wedding. And it’s all set to the glittering music of ABBA, baby.
James has proven her acting chops before, starring in TV shows like Downton Abbey and leading films like Disney’s live-action Cinderella. She was also the best thing about the oft-maligned Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, for what it’s worth. The Brit proved she could do a fairly good American accent in Baby Driver, which leaves us with just one question now: can she sing? And if so, can she sing as well as, if not better than Streep?
James actually answered that question already in Cinderella, singing a breathy little tune in the film.
She also sang the classic “A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes” for the musical’s soundtrack, and as far as actors-turned-singers go, it’s not bad. On the Les Miserables scale of Russell Crowe’s Javert to Hugh Jackman’s Jean Valjean, James is an Anne Hathaway-approved Fantine.
So it would seem that the role of young Donna is in good hands. Here we go again!
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