Christine Baranski Clears up That Ouzo Rumor


Ouzo or no ouzo. It still looks like this cast had the best time on set …

It certainly looks like the cast of Mamma Mia! had an absolute blast making that film. So much fun, in fact, that there’s a rumor swirling around that they were drunk while filming courtesy of a viral behind the scenes clip. The culprit according to that short video? Ouzo, a spirit that’s popular in Greece where they shot the film.

During our Collider Ladies Night chat, I absolutely had to ask Christine Baranski about this grand ol’ time they reportedly had while the drinks were flowing. But, it turns out, the environment on set wasn’t as it seems in that clip. And Ouzo wasn’t even to blame. Here’s what Baranski said:

“No, there wasn’t ever Ouzo on set. It was that Pierce Brosnan wanted to take us all to dinner one night near the end of the shoot, the first Mamma Mia!, and we had dinner and then we went to hear some jazz music somewhere. And we started drinking this – it’s not called Ouzo – it’s Cipro or something. But that sounds like the antibiotic.”

Christine Baranski, Meryl Streep and Julie Walters in Mamma Mia!
Image via Universal Pictures

Baranski wasn’t far off! It looks like the alcohol in question is Tsipouro, another spirit popular in Greece with a whopping 40-45% ABV. On top of that, Baranski also noted that drinking Tsipouro comes with an interesting after effect:

“Anyway, none of us knew it, but this thing that we were drinking as though it was just really good tequila, gives you this hangover after. The next day, if you have even a little bit of water, it reactivates the effect of this drink. And I remember, I didn’t have to work the next day, but I had to keep reading the same paragraph. I was sitting by the pool and trying to read this Greek history book and I kept reading and rereading and nothing would stick.”

While Baranski was in the clear work wise the next day, that wasn’t the case for some of her co-stars:

“I think all three guys and Meryl [Streep] had to just shoot a final scene, but fortunately I think the camera was behind them all day. They were doing Sophie sailing out to sea at the end. [Laughs] I don’t think their faces had to be seen because everybody was like, whoa!”

If you enjoyed this Baranski behind-the-scenes story, how about a whole bunch more? We’re got her full Collider Ladies Night interview coming your way soon and it includes stories from her experiences working on The Birdcage with Robin Williams, Addams Family Values, The Good Fight and so much more!

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