18 MAY 2008

As one of Hollywood's leading ladies, Meryl Streep is no stranger to receiving fan mail. This time, it was the Oscar-winning actress who was doing the writing, and her letter of praise won her a role in the new film version of Mamma Mia!.

Eight years ago, Meryl took her daughter, Louisa, to see the hit musical on Broadway as a birthday treat.

Admitting she had only gone because she thought it "would be fun" for the "six screaming 11-year-olds" she was looking after, Meryl found herself falling in love with the action.

"I was up in the aisle, dancing, screaming and yelling," she says.

Back home, she wrote to the cast to tell them how much she had enjoyed herself.

Two years later, as casting began for the £35 million silver-screen version of the musical began, Meryl's note was remembered. The star of The Devil Wears Prada was offered the lead role.

Out in July, the flick sees Meryl play Donna, the single mum of bride-to-be Sophie, who invites her mother's past lovers to her wedding in order to find out which one is her father.

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The Oscar-winning star performs nine Abba hits in the musical, including Dancing Queen and Money Money Money
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Former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan plays one of Meryl's former flames in the flick
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Meryl's character is forced to confront her past at the wedding of her young daughter, played by Mean Girls actress Amanda Seyfried
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