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Here's Why Young Harry From Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again Looks So Familiar

The film adaptation Mamma Mia! has a cast of immediately recognizable faces — from Meryl Streep to Colin Firth — singing ABBA songs while dancing across the fictional Greek island of Kalokairi. However, the renowned Streep is not one for doing sequels, so Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again needed a story that would work without her performance as Donna. Writer-director Ol Parker took a chance and made the film half sequel, half prequel: it tells the story of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) coping with her mother Donna's death, while also spending a good share of its runtime in the past, showing how the young Donna (Lily James) wound up in the position of not knowing Sophie's biological father.

Among Donna's three lovers from her summer jaunt through Europe, Harry is the first she meets. The British banker was first played by Firth in Mamma Mia! but the musical's sequel-slash-prequel reintroduced the character as a fresh-faced young man traveling through Paris when he meets the recently graduated Donna and instantly falls in love. While dancing through a restaurant and fencing with baguettes, he performs his rendition of "Waterloo" in hopes that she will sleep with him. It works! So just who is this young Harry that wooed Donna? The actor's name is Hugh Skinner and here's why he looks so familiar.

Hugh Skinner's first feature was Les Misérables (2012)

Coincidentally, in the same year the United Kingdom fought the French in the battle of Waterloo, the story of the period musical Les Misérables begins: In 19th century France, Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is released from prison for stealing bread and must now make his way through life while being pursued by the policeman Javert (Russell Crowe).

For Hugh Skinner, the musical was a beginning of sorts for him too, as the 2012 film adaptation of Les Mis gave him his first role in a feature-length film, although it wasn't a very large part. He plays the hypochondriac medical student Joly, a member of the revolutionist group Friends of the ABC, who sings with them for both "ABC Cafe / Red & Black" and "Drink With Me." As it happens, Mamma Mia!'s Amanda Seyfried is also in this film, playing Cosette, making that two musicals they've been in together.

Skinner shows off his talent for playing idiotic white men" in W1A (2014 - 2017) and Poldark (2016)

Hugh Skinner's first multi-season TV role was on BBC's mockumentary W1A, which parodies... the BBC. The series itself is actually a sequel to the comedy Twenty Twelve, which found its humor in the fictional planning of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Both are narrated by Doctor Who's David Tennant and follow the central character Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville), whose new job in W1A is to find the purpose for the BBC's future. Skinner plays the rather incompetent intern Will Humphries.

Sticking with the BBC, Skinner had a five-episode stint on the second season of the historical drama Poldark as the antagonist Unwin Trevaunance, another dimwitted character. "Unwin is a lethal mixture of arrogance and stupidity," Skinner said (via BBC One). It's part of what drew him to the role. "On top of that, the fact he was a bit of a peacock and dandy with ridiculous costumes was appealing too." In 2018, Skinner told The Guardian that he likes "playing people who are crap at things" and has been "typecast as Wills and Harrys." To inews, he said, "Of course I want to play other parts but there's definitely a market at the moment for idiotic white men, and I'm pleased for the work."

He played Harry in Fleabag (2016 - 2019)

While many people know Hugh Skinner as young Harry from Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, his character is also named Harry in another one of his most recognizable roles: Harry the sometimes boyfriend, sometimes not of the titular character in the critically acclaimed comedy Fleabag. Skinner is in just half the episodes, though, as Fleabag's perspective narrowly focuses in on its depressed, angry, fourth-wall breaking protagonist, Fleabag.

Adapted from her one-woman play, Phoebe Waller-Bridge stars in the dark comedy series as the young woman living in London and dating around as she struggles with her own self-loathing.  Rotten Tomatoes' critical consensus of the first season (there are two total) gives it a 100% score, calling it "Clever and viciously funny, Fleabag is a touching, wildly inventive comedy about a complicated young woman navigating the aftermath of trauma." As Skinner told The Guardian, he and Waller-Bridge actually knew each other before Fleabag — they were even in a play together.

Skinner was in Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi (2017)

Blink and you'll miss it, but Hugh Skinner was actually in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, in a role barely smaller than the hyped up Gwendoline Christie's Captain Phasma. He's briefly on screen as the first officer to Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern), the purple-haired woman appointed head of the fleet after Leia was swept out the airlock. Despite not having any lines, he told The Guardian it was exciting to be in Star Wars.

"It was extraordinary to be on a production of that scale," Skinner said. "You'd walk into the studio and it would have a huge planet with a moving spaceship in the middle. On the call sheets in the morning, it would say '50 aliens, 100 soldiers, three spaceships.' Other stuff I've been in would just say 'two chairs.'" He added that the experience was shrouded in secrecy, so he wasn't told much about the plot at the time.

Hugh Skinner appeared in Harlots (2017 - 2018) and Little Birds (2020)

More recently, Hugh Skinner has been on a few different TV series, including the period dramas Harlots and Little Birds, both of which explore sex in history through a lens other than a straight man's eyes. The Hulu series Harlots dives into the complicated world of sex work in the 1700s with brothel owner Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton). Skinner plays Sir George Howard, a ridiculous man of high society who's possessive over Margaret's eldest daughter, Charlotte (Jessica Brown Findlay). The 2020 limited series Little Birds, meanwhile, follows American rich girl Lucy Savage (Juno Temple) to Morocco in 1955; Skinner is her gay husband Hugo Cavendish-Smyth.

Between Little Birds, Fleabag, Harlots, and even Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, the unapologetic sex lives of women seem to be something of a uniting factor among many of Skinners projects. With the Little Birds character Hugo, however, he got to explore new territory: a gay man himself, Skinner talked about the role in an interview with inews.co.uk, saying, "This is definitely the first time I've played a gay person in any depth and that definitely fascinated me. Particularly in that period in the 50s when it was an absolutely horrific time. I was reading Peter Ackroyd's book about gay London [Queer City] and he was writing about how, post-war, the ideals of marriage and family were held in higher esteem than ever, the arrest of homosexuals was often front-page news. A truly terrifying time to be gay. Which is why Hugo's in Tangier, really." It seems Little Birds let him find some new depth to that idiotic white man.