In a recent interview to promote the sequel – which has topped the UK box office for three weekends – Christine Baranski, who plays Tanya, and Pierce Brosnan (Sam) explained how it works.
“[When filming], they blast the music,” Brosnan told Off Set. “You rehearse, you rehearse, then you go into the studio with Benny [Andersson] and Bjorn [Ulvaeus] and you record the songs.”
Baranski explained: “Then when we shoot it you have little things in your ears; it’s playing back what you recorded.
“And then you sing and dance as if you’re actually singing.”
She added: “You’re actually dancing but you’re lip-syncing and that is a trick and a half, I must say.
“You often get called out for not being exactly in sync with the music.
“Pierce and I had the pleasure of skipping down many a hill waving our arms and singing Dancing Queen.”
This is fairly standard practise for musical movies: to record the music in advance, then mime along to it on set.
One exception was Les Miserables, which also starred Mamma Mia’s Amanda Seyfried and saw the actors singing live in the moment.
The music from Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again has been such a hit with audiences that today the soundtrack album is expected to be announced as the UK’s number one for the third week running.
What’s more, the soundtrack to the first movie has also returned to the Top 10, along with ABBA Gold; already the second best-selling album of all time in the UK.
The Guardian reported this week that, as of last weekend, the sequel is outpacing its predecessor by approximately 60% in terms of how much money it has made at the box office in its three weeks on release.
Although the 2008 original proved to have extraordinarily long staying power – something the sequel is unlikely to match – this new offering has fired out of the gate at a much more impressive speed.
So could there be a Mamma Mia 3? Seyfried sounded doubtful in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying: “I feel there is enough ABBA music for sure but I’m gonna say the same thing I said 10 years ago: I don’t f-ing think so.
“It seems like it would be ridiculous. But now anything can happen!”
She added: “The only thing is I would be worried the studio would only make it to make money and, with Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, I know that’s not the case.”
Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again is out now.