If there’s any actor lucky enough to star with not one but two Skarsgårds over the course of a calendar year, it’s Meryl Streep. Last July, Mamma Mia 2! Here We Go Again Stellan Skarsgård co-starred as Bill, one of three men who could be the father of Sophie, the daughter of Meryl Streep’s Donna. Then this Sunday Meryl Streep blasted onto the small screen with her inspired turn as Big Little Lies’ Mary Louise, the grieving mother of Alexander Skarsgård’s Perry and a character who gives the term “passive-aggressive” new meaning. The casting coincidence between father and son has led some to conjure up an alternate universe in which Donna and Bill have hooked up at some point to give birth to baby Perry, or something.
This speculative film theory would hold more weight if Mary Louise and Donna weren’t polar opposites of each other: a breathtaking free spirit versus a buttoned-up cardigan-wearing secret shrew. But the range that Streep displays between the two roles clinches the fact that she is our greatest acting treasure, no matter the role or format (although, granted, that Mary Poppins Returns cameo was a bit of a tough sell). We’re guessing this coincidence just leads to spirited conversations around the Skarsgård family dinner table, wherein Stellan boasts that he at least had scenes with Meryl Streep, while Alexander is just doomed to haunt everyone in ghostly flashbacks this season.