Interview with Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda is arguably the most in-demand personality on Broadway right now and he is looking set on world domination. With his smash hit musical Hamilton currently the hottest ticket in New York and set for a historic win at this weekend's Tony Awards following its 16 nominations, London audiences are desperate for the transfer to be officially announced.
Miranda is currently represented in the West End with his previous Tony Award-winning musical In The Heights at the King's Cross Theatre, where it won multiple Olivier Awards, including an award for Best Music.
Our New York Editor Tom Millward recently caught up with Miranda and one of Hamilton's leading ladies, Renée Elise Goldsberry who last week picked up a Drama Desk Award for her role as Angelica Schuyler, and is also nominated for a Tony for the same role.
Lin-Manuel Miranda: Oh, thank you very much! That was an unexpected honour!
LMM: Yes! You know I still haven’t seen the production yet! I’m hoping to sneak over this Summer and go and see them.
THM: Renée. How does it feel now that Awards Season is finally here for you?
REG: It feels cathartic, honestly. We have waited a really long time for this season’s awards. We could have gone last year, but it was a really wise choice to wait and let this show marinate to make it what it is now. I know they don’t regret that decision at all. We have had a lot of really special acknowledgements that don’t come as often as they should to other theatre productions, but even with the Grammy and all those other things, the Tonys have always been the way to go because we are all theatre nerds. It’s a dream come true for us all to be a part of this celebration of theatre. Most of us have never even been to the Tonys in our lives, much less be nominated for an award. So I’m really excited and thrilled.
THM: And what are your thoughts on your category – Best Featured Actress in a Musical – at the Tonys this year?
REG: Well, I have to tell you that I love the “Featured Actress” category. I find myself most often as a featured actress and I’m really proud of that. It’s a challenging one because the story isn’t necessarily yours, so you have to find your own impact in the story and support somebody else. I think that’s a beautiful thing for an actor to do. I’m surrounded by a lot of really, really, really talented women that are doing very different things. I feel most often in any Awards show it’s not about what’s best, but what you’re celebrating this year. I’m not exactly sure what the Tony committee will celebrate this year. In every category, it’s different and everything is really deserving and worthy of acknowledgement. So it’ll be exciting just to be in the room and celebrate so many different pieces of theatre and so many different people’s work.
LMM: Actually, on the contrary, it’s really validating. When ‘In The Heights’ first opened on Broadway, people said that it was so specific. Are people outside of New York going to be able to relate? We got that again when we went on tour. But you know, I’ve never been to Russia and when I see ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ that village of Anatevka feels like my neighbourhood. So it just feels like we’ve done our job well. The specific problems of this community feel universal.
THM: And how excited are you about bringing ‘Hamilton’ to London, with the help of Sir Cameron Mackintosh?
LMM: I am so excited! We can’t wait! We’re hoping to bring it over next year. We’ll get the same questions: “It’s so American. Will it play?” But hopefully if we’ve done our jobs well like we did on ‘[In The] Heights,’ this story of revolution and telling your own story will also play well over there as well. And also, we really take the p*ss out of King George, so I can’t wait to see how that plays!
THM: Renée, could you see yourself making a trip over the pond to appear in the West End transfer, or are you sticking around in New York?
REG: I would love to go to London. I’ve been several times, but I’ve never worked there. My favourite thing to do there is, of course, to see theatre. So the idea of being there and being in the theatre would be a dream come true. I’ve also had the privilege to talk to some very fancy Brits like Kate Beckinsale, who have been able to share with me what’s so special about ‘Hamilton’ being in London is that they are not taught this history at all. So, as intelligent as we know the Brits are, they are actually in this particular instance relatively ignorant and so the experience of being able to do this show for them will be really interesting. I know that the people who do end up doing it over there are going to have a real fun time with the British audiences.
For more interviews with the cast of Hamilton, visit here