Hamilton. In the heights. Long live. Bring it on. Encanto. Supreme Love Freestyle. Moana. Its dark materials. tick, tick … BOOM!
It’s just a handful of hard work that helped Lin-Manuel Miranda has become a household name over the past few years and has propelled him to stardom.
And it is his latest project that once again brought him to salons around the world, allowing him to leave his mark on a cult work.
tick, tick … BOOM! is his latest critically acclaimed project
His latest film (and first director), an adaptation of the iconic semi-autobiographical musical tick, tick … BOOM! by the late Jonathan Larson, has been hailed, netting Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award nominations – capping two golden years for the creator.
The story follows Larson, famous for writing the influential musical Rent, trying to stage his latest work, against a backdrop of rejection, financial hurdles, and heartache.
It stars Andrew Garfield in the lead role, supported by Vanessa Hudgens, Robin de Jesus and Alexandra Shipp.
Larson died in 1996, the morning Rent was scheduled to open on Broadway, meaning he never got to see his work on his biggest stage.
Miranda, speaking on Zoom from the United States, told Sky News how he managed to bring authenticity to this much-loved work.
âWhat I knew, after playing tick, tick … BOOM! In 2014, was that there were a lot of people who loved and knew Jonathan and were still there, and we really relied on this as a resource.
âI interviewed his girlfriend, I interviewed his best friend, I interviewed his family, I interviewed the galaxy of colleagues and collaborators who told me the stories of Jonathan being inspiring and Jonathan being boring, then frustrated or impatient.
âAll of these particular things, we tried to get as much onscreen as possible and what I’m most proud of about the film is that the people who knew and loved Jonathan, his sister Julie, who is a producer with us and was with us every day on the set of … his college roommates and an actress who worked with him who said “I felt like I got him back during the two hours that your film played “.
“This is what I’m most proud of.”
Miranda is humble and grounded – and doesn’t know why her work is so widely praised
Speaking with him, it became clear that he remains incredibly humble, despite all of his successes over the past few years.
When asked why he thinks his work has become so widely praised, Miranda replied, “I don’t know”.
âI know I’ve tried to do, in every piece that I write, I try to bring as many staff as possible to the job.
“I don’t know any other way to write than to put myself in the character’s shoes and understand what he means. It’s that simple – and it’s that complicated,
âYou need a lot of research and empathy. Those are the two great tools – you have few tools to bring into battle.
“That’s it. It’s research and empathy, and that’s what I try to bring to everything, whether it’s Jonathan Larson or Alexander Hamilton or, you know, the team at cheerleaders from Bring It On.
“That’s all you can do and I hope you find enough truth in it to resonate with someone else.”
Therapy helps the countdown calm down
Miranda also credits her “real life” to helping him write his work, saying Hamilton (the genre-defying, record-breaking, award-winning musical about America’s Founding Fathers) came to see him while on vacation.
âI don’t think it’s an accident that a lot of the characters in my work hear the ticking of a clock which is very loud.
âI’m also aware of this ticking, but with a lot of therapy I’ve learned to refuse it.
âI’ve done a lot, and I know the best idea I’ve ever had in my life happened when I was on vacation, when I picked up Ron Chernow’s [Alexander Hamilton] biography in a hammock in Mexico – so I also understand the importance of having a real life. “
While Miranda plays down her influence – her colleagues talk about it
Alexandra Shipp of tic, tic … BOOM! uninvited to Sky News told Sky News that she relished the chance to work with Miranda on the project.
âWhen they said Lin-Manuel Miranda was making it, I said to myself: what should I do? Should I cut my face, should I shoot them a finger? Should I then go and give them an ear, whatever they want? What is it gonna be? I will do it.'”
X-Men actress Shipp, who gives an amazing twist as Larson’s longtime partner Susan in the film, adds, âWorking with Lin is so wonderful because he’s not only incredibly bright, like this man is brilliant, but he is also so much fun and so kind … he is humble and sweet.
“And he cares, and I think that’s what is so beautiful about working with him, is that he cares about what I’m trying to bring and how we can work together on that. “
Rosa Diaz of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Stephanie Beatriz, who worked with Miranda on In The Heights and Encanto this year, also speaks, telling Sky News of the set of West End play 2:22 A Ghost Story: âI love him. He’s amazing.
“I’ve known him since we were both as poor young artists in New York. He’s an amazing person, a friend, a collaborator, an artist, I love his work and I think he’s a person. incredible.”
Earlier this year, longtime collaborator Anthony Ramos (Hamilton, In The Heights, 21 Chump Street) added his voice to Lin’s love-in, telling Sky News, âLin is a genius. nervous every time I’m around him I soak up something.
“I’m learning something from him, and he’s just one of the brightest people to ever walk on earth.”
Lloyd Webber, Sondheim, Menken, Schwartz – it looks like Miranda will be the next name added to the list of revered musical theater writers whose work has gone on for decades.
tick, tick … BOOM! is now available on Netflix, Hamilton and Encanto are streaming on Disney + and In The Heights is on Sky Cinema and NOW.
Bring It On The Musical is taking place in London’s Southbank Center through January 22, with Hamilton’s West End production now at the Victoria Palace Theater.
Chronology of Lin-Manuel Miranda projects
2003: In The Heights makes his stage debut (writer, performer)
2004: creates Freestyle Love Supreme – an improvised rap concert
2012: Broadway run by Bring It On The Musical (songwriter and lyrics)
2014: 21 Chump Street (writer)
2015: Hamilton makes his Broadway debut (writer, performer)
2016: The Return of Mary Poppins (performer)
2016: Moana (composer and writer)
2019: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (composer)
2019: His Dark Materials (performer)
2020: Hamilton debuts on Disney + streaming platform
2021: Film version of In The Heights (composer, writer, performer)
2021: Vivo on Netflix (performer, screenwriter, executive producer)
2021: tick, tick … BOOM! released on Netflix (director)
2021: Disney’s Encanto (composer, writer)
2023: The Little Mermaid (composer, writer)