Meet the 'Mamma Mia!' Men and Bride-to-be

The "Mamma Mia!" spotlight has been mainly on Meryl Streep, who gets to put her singing skills to good use on ABBA's "Dancing Queen" when the film opens Friday. But the acting queen also has a game supporting cast. USA TODAY talks with some of the super troupe.

Amanda Seyfried

How you know her: As airhead Karen ("It's like I have ESPN or something. My breasts can always tell when it's going to rain.") in the 2004 high school comedy "Mean Girls".

Her "Mamma" role: Young bride-to-be Sophie. "I was playing myself at 17 in "Mean Girls", and I was also playing myself at 20 in this."

Previous music experience: "I took singing and dancing lessons for six years. I kind of put it away in my pocket as a hobby. I never really imagined that I would be a part of a movie musical, because they are few and far between."

The most difficult part of"Mamma Mia!": The Greek dance step during Voulez-Vous. "We all had a tough time. Pierce (Brosnan, who is one of her three possible fathers) kept tripping over himself. Then I noticed he had such a good time messing up."

Favorite ABBA song:" Mamma Mia!" "My heart explodes when I hear it."

Next: "Jennifer's Body", a 2009 horror comedy written by Oscar winner Diablo Cody ("Juno"); a new season of HBO's "Big Love"

Pierce Brosnan

How you know him: As the fifth official James Bond in four films from 1995 to 2002.

His "Mamma" role: Sam, a suave architect. "He is dealing with being a single father in the hustle and bustle of New York City. He had a marriage he should never have entered into."

Previous music experience: Tackled Irish ballads in the 2002 custody drama "Evelyn."

Response to criticism of his "Mamma" crooning: "I don't care what they say, that 'he's flat' or whatever. I will take it all. I am just happy to be part of it."

Brotherly bonding with Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard: "The morning when we were going up to the studios to record the songs was daunting. The night before was long and dark. But then I took sanctuary in the faces of Colin and Stellan, who looked like they had just been hit by a Mack truck."

On wearing his ABBA-style spandex jumpsuit: "You think, 'OK, suck it in a bit. Oh, I look good. I look like Elvis. Oh, dear, I wish I asked for a bigger buckle.' "

Favorite ABBA song: "'The Winner Takes It All', because of this now. Meryl let's me have it right between the eyes."

Next: Coming next year are "The Greatest" with Susan Sarandon, about the loss of a child; "The Thomas Crown Affair 2", directed by Paul Verhoeven; "The Ghost" with Tilda Swinton and Kim Cattrall, directed by Roman Polanski.

Christine Baranski

How you know her: In her Emmy-winning stretch as the gin-soaked, acid-tongued Maryann on TV's "Cybill".

Her "Mamma" role: Thrice-divorced, surgically enhanced boy-bait Tanya, who has echoes of Maryann. "She isn't as bitter and drunk. She's softer."

Previous music experience: On stage in Nick and Nora, an L.A. revival of "Promises"," Promises" with Martin Short, productions of "Sweeney Todd" and "Mame". On-screen as sob-sister reporter Mary Sunshine in 2002's "Chicago".

On the difficulty of singing ABBA hits: "I tended to take the top line in songs like "Chiquitita" and "Dancing Queen". So I was glad I have been doing musicals for the last few years. It was like training. I loved getting into pop songs, and I absolutely loved performing "Does Your Mother Know". I was channeling Pat Benatar."

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