BBC trailer and featurette for His Dark Materials season 2
(Featuring some bits and pieces of interviews with Lin in his Lee getup.)
(Featuring some bits and pieces of interviews with Lin in his Lee getup.)
Voting is your opportunity to be in the room where it happens. Don’t throw away your shot: iwillvote.com
LMM: [Laughs] I’ll tell you, we did a family screening of the documentary the last time we were all in Puerto Rico around the end of last year. And the biggest reaction that the family had was when a picture of Luis’ first wife showed up. Everyone went, “Whoa!” He was married for six months when he was 18, and she’s not really been a part of our lives in any way. In that part, me and my cousins from my generation, our minds were blown that that was part of the story. It was fun to watch that big reveal play out.
LM: [Laughs] It was a big reveal, but even though it was part of the narrative, it wasn’t a big part of our lives. I’ll always remember when Lin-Manuel was at the Richard Rodgers Theatre with In the Heights, my first wife went to see the show. She lives in Chicago now. I remember hearing a voice that said, “Luisito!” I am only called Luisito by people from my town in Vega Alta, so I knew it had to be someone from way back in the past, and it turned out to be her. I had the chance to introduce her to my wife of 43 years, Luz, and Lin-Manuel.
In Siempre, Luis, you are surrounded by powerful women, specifically in the political arena, where you lift up female candidates. Why is this important to you?
LM: When I became the chair for the Latino Victory Fund a couple of years ago, the first thing we did was to declare the year of Latinas. We went all over the country and recruited an amazing slate of Latinas to run, and we ended up with some amazing mujeres in Congress. We need more gender diversity in politics. I’m very proud to have been able to be a part of that movement.
Lin-Manuel, when you announced you’d be taking Hamilton to Puerto Rico in support of Hurricane Maria relief efforts, it was met with resistance from the University of Puerto Rico students. Why did you include this?
LMM: That scene in particular was included because that was part of the conversation. We said we would meet with the UPR students, and we had an hourlong conversation with them. The protest was five minutes of that, but it was an important part of that. The university is hurting as a result of these policies, so it was important that we hear them out.
LMM: Releasing Hamilton was to give people a reminder of how powerful live theater can be at a moment where there is no live theater anywhere in the United States other than virtual theater. I was really proud that we were able to do that. But I’m also keenly aware of what didn’t make it into the two-and-a-half hour musical I wrote. These guys had complicated lives, and they were all flawed. I know what’s on the cutting room floor. When I have to cut stuff like that because I’m trying to write this show, what I told myself was, “What was the starting point for conversation?” It’s an entry point to say, “Yes, Washington owned slaves,” etc. Hamilton allows for those types of conversations to happen because, without it we aren’t talking about those guys in the same way. I have to embrace [the criticisms] as a starting point for more conversations.
In which Lin puts his father on blast for being a Greatest Showman stan.
Lin and Luis talk about Luis’ hopes for Lin, his great career advice and Luis’ amazing story.
Though his career is not in the theatre, Luis is possibly even more animated than his son. “Everyone who meets Luis Miranda goes, ‘Your play is good, but your dad is a character,’ ” Lin-Manuel said. In “Siempre, Luis,” a new HBO documentary about Luis, directed by John James, Lin-Manuel describes his father as a “relentless motherfucker,” not unlike another Caribbean-born politico, Alexander Hamilton. “It keeps surfacing in my work,” Lin-Manuel went on. “I’m in awe of people who come to New York from somewhere else and make a life for themselves here.”
Luis grew up in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, a small town west of San Juan. His father, Luis, Sr. (nicknamed Güisin), was the local credit-union manager. “If you needed five hundred bucks, you went to see Güisin,” Luis recalled. “Lin-Manuel says that he always had the fantasy of my dad being like the banker in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ You could not walk through town without my dad being stopped all the time, so much that I swore to myself that I would never name my kid Luis. Never ever. Because I didn’t have a name. I’m back to not having a name. I’m Lin-Manuel’s dad. After my eighteen years in Vega Alta, I was ‘Güisin’s son, the one who left and went to New York.’ ”
In 1974, Luis—young, scrappy, hungry, and newly married to his seventh-grade sweetheart—was recruited to a Ph.D. program in clinical psychiatry at New York University. With ten dollars from his father, he left his wife behind in Puerto Rico, moved in with an aunt in Chelsea, and got a job at a nonprofit, where his salary was five dollars an hour, twice what he had made at a Sears back home. He said, “I remember calling my wife that night and saying, ‘Baby, New York is the shit. My salary just doubled, and all I had to do was take a plane! ” The marriage didn’t last—he met Lin-Manuel’s mother, Luz, through the N.Y.U. program—nor did his career as a therapist. “I quickly realized that I am not cut out to be the kind of psychologist that I was being trained to be,” he recalled. “I would be sitting there thinking, You’re such a loser! Do something! We talked about this problem the last two months! Please.”
“Luis Miranda as your psychologist is nightmare fuel,” Lin-Manuel said.
Luis and Luz moved to Washington Heights in 1980, the year Lin-Manuel was born. “We got involved in electing Hispanic school-board members in District 6,” Luis said. “I had picketed Ed Koch every time he came to our community, because we were fighting for more schools.” Luis, whose colorful belligerence matched Koch’s, talked his way into a job as the mayor’s director of Hispanic affairs. “I very weirdly remember the day he was hired,” Lin-Manuel, who was seven at the time, recalled. “I was watching the episode of ‘Good Times’ when John Amos’s character died, and I was hysterically crying. And my dad came home a half hour later with this letter on mayoral stationery and said, ‘Your dad got a new job!’ ” Growing up, Lin-Manuel ran around Gracie Mansion at holiday parties and picked up lyrical skills from Inner Circle shows, which featured song parodies making fun of Koch. “I never got to go, but my dad would bring home programs,” he said. “Because I grew up worshipping Weird Al, I just thought it was so cool that they were ripping the mayor to shit to Michael Jackson tunes.” In 1998, Luis formed a consulting firm, through which he helped Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton win their Senate seats. (“The dude was relentless,” he said of Schumer.) More recently, he helped Letitia James become the attorney general of New York. Lin-Manuel, meanwhile, channelled the retail side of politics into “Hamilton.” “I remember Andrew Cuomo seeing the show and saying to me, ‘You learned politics at the kitchen table,’ ” he said.
Now that “Hamilton” is big business, Luis applies his behind-the-scenes boosterism to his son. A month before Hurricane Maria, in 2017, he opened a commercial courtyard in Vega Alta called La Placita de Güisin, with an arepa stand, a mosaic of Lin-Manuel as Hamilton alongside Luis’s father, and a gallery called Museo Miranda, displaying “Hamilton” fan art, family photos, and one of Lin-Manuel’s Tonys. Lin-Manuel wasn’t always the pride of his father’s home town. “When I went to visit as a kid,” he recalled, “I was introduced as ‘Ese es el de Luisito que se fue’: ‘That’s the kid of Luis who left.’ ”
“That’s the way people should be,” Luis said during a TIME100 Talks on Thursday, sitting next to his son, Lin-Manuel, who smiled and shook his head. “You should try to use as many brain cells as you possibly can in your lifetime.”
Luis was born in Puerto Rico and immigrated to New York in 1971, where he raised Lin-Manuel and his daughter, Luz. He brought them up with extremely high expectations, Luis told TIME editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal. “I wanted them to excel on everything they were doing, and pushed very hard for that to happen,” he said, adding, “But we also sent them to therapy to handle it.”
The Mirandas have maintained strong ties to Puerto Rico. Each year while he was growing up, Lin-Manuel spent a month in Puerto Rico with his paternal grandparents, which allowed him to forge a connection with the island that has endured through his meteoric rise as a musical theater composer and performer.
“I will always bring any art I make to Puerto Rico because it’s important to me,” he said. He brought his first Broadway show, In the Heights, there, and was in the midst of planning a Hamilton production on the island when Hurricane Maria hit, killing more than 3000 and uprooting countless lives.
Following Hurricane Maria, both Luis and Lin-Manuel plunged themselves into fundraising and recovery efforts for Puerto Rico. “The idyllic perfect place where my parents were from … has shifted and evolved,” Luis said. “Life has not been easy … particularly under colonialism.”
The crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted Lin-Manuel’s industry particularly hard given that almost all live events have been cancelled for months and will remain so for the foreseeable future, has prompted more activism among theater artists and workers, he said.
“Theater practitioners are looking to create a more equitable and just space for when we return so that the audience of Hamilton, and the front of house staff, is just as diverse as the cast,” he said. “The energy that would be going toward eight shows a week is now going to these challenges facing our country, whether it be systemic racism or mobilizing the vote.”
While discussing the upcoming presidential election, Lin-Manuel couldn’t resist drawing comparisons to the one portrayed in Hamilton. “In 1800, Jefferson and Adams both had a newspaper and they printed lies about each other—so it’s not that this is new,” he said. “It’s just that the news travels at the speed of a click now. That’s the scariest thing to me. But when I see the peaceful protests going on—when white bodies stand up for black and brown bodies in the street—that gives me enormous hope.”
Viewers of the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday night (Sept. 20) will see a powerful PSA that challenges the TV industry to do more to bring about diverse, inclusive representation. Lin Manuel Miranda, Billy Porter, Isis King, Daniel Dae Kim, Jamie Chung and others appear in the 60-second PSA, titled “See All.”
The PSA, created by the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM), a division of the New York-based Association of National Advertisers, features the actors alternating lines of the script, which opens with the appeal, “We appreciate the dialogue. We see the effort from Hollywood. But we need more.”
In the spot’s midsection, the voices raise important questions. “Do you see me in this industry? You act as if bias doesn’t exist. Would you rather breathe life into stereotypes or stand up against them? Because what I know of my culture isn’t who you portray me to be.“
The comments become more pointed as the spot progresses. “We are more than a splash of color on your white canvas. We’re not your quota. We are quotable. So show me – me. Not your me. Me.”
I’m devastated but I’m not surprised. Because Puertorriquenos have seen this story before. When Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, what did the president of the United States do to help these American citizens, these human beings, when they needed it most? Nothing. He threw paper towels at us in San Juan. In fact, he asked his cabinet if the United States could sell Puerto Rico. But our Constitution, imperfect as it is, has left us with a path out of this devastation.
Lin_Manuel: 10 years ago today, @LacketyLac surprised us with some Stevie, alongside @ChrisisSingin, @OneVeronicaGirl, @_mandygonzalez @Karenolivo, @JanetDacal, @RobinofJesus, @arthurlewis, @TheAndreaBurns, @TheOlgaMerediz & P.Lo. The sun came out on the last chorus. https://youtu.be/kfqozP4LZT8
And thank you all for crowding us with love, today and every day. We love you too.
jdzphotography Last month I had the chance to photograph some old friends for the #stoopshoot project. What better to way to celebrate 10 years of marriage than to help us raise money for @foodbank4nyc ? They are truly amazing people! Swipe to see the wedding pictures from what feels like forever ago. Through thick and thin, here’s to another 10 years! 🥂
Lin_Manuel: Our talented pal Jeff Zorabedian is doing an amazing #StoopShoot photo series raising money for @FoodBank4NYC, so @VAMNit & I took some 10th anniversary pics…❤❤❤
Lin will be returning as Lee Scoresby.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is a former New York City public school student AND teacher — and he knows the Class of 2020 will blow us all away.
Join Film at Lincoln Center for a live Q&A about Hulu’s Freestyle Love Supreme with director Andrew Fried, producer Thomas Kail, and Freestyle Love Supreme troupe members and Hamilton stars Chris Jackson and Lin-Manuel Miranda! Moderated by comedian Mike Birbiglia.
This is a bit awkward but Lin, Chris and Tommy are adorable and very funny.
Lin pops in at 18 minutes in here to talk to Alan Menken about how they met, their work on Little Mermaid and where their inspirations come from.
Timestamps for Lin’s questions: 15:40 (which includes Lin being cute with Dafne) and 31:01 for Lin spilling the beans on his hangouts with Andrew Scott.
“There’s a good chance no one will ever know who you are.”
[Clip from We Are Freestyle Love Supreme, featuring Lin and Tommy Kail in 2008]
For years, the Freestyle Love Supreme experience was a “completely ephemeral” one, as founding member Thomas Kail puts it. Only those in the small, usually 99-seat, theaters who witnessed one of the hip-hop improv group’s shows live shared in the unique memory and magic of what they delivered. But through Andrew Fried’s documentary “We Are Love Supreme,” debuting on Hulu July 17, some of those performances have been given more permanence.
“It was like we were writing poetry and lighting it on fire. And later we ended up writing a couple of novels and people liked our novels,” Kail, who also executive produced the documentary, says of the difference between Freestyle Love Supreme’s shows and “In The Heights” and Hamilton.” “We thought, ‘Well, what if we go back and show them some of the poetry we wrote?’ It informed and infused the novels.”
As Freestyle Love Supreme founding member and “In The Heights” and “Hamilton” scribe Lin-Manuel Miranda explains it, improv-rapping with Freestyle Love Supreme “became this skill set that sharpened all of the other skill sets that were important to me. ‘96,000’ in ‘In The Heights’ was very much drawn from the back-and-forth of Freestyle Love Supreme. As I grew more confident as a writer, I grew more confident knowing that I would have something to say when I got up on stage to audience suggestions, and then performing with Freestyle sharpened my brain so I could infuse my writing with spontaneity.”
Only Fried, for example, had boxes of tapes and hard drives of footage that included Miranda busking in the street or Miranda and Christopher Jackson performing on stage together well before “In The Heights,” let alone “Hamilton.” He had early looks at Kail making his directorial debut, as well as Kail and Miranda workshopping “In The Heights.” And then there were early performances by Anthony Veneziale, Andrew Bancroft, Arthur Lewis, Bill Sherman and Chris Sullivan, too. Fried’s personal relationship with the group allowed for a trust and comfort level, he says, which in turn had him capturing candid moments of Miranda talking about leaving singledom behind and Ambudkar’s journey to get sober.
“That connection that you get on stage with with those people in particular, is unlike anything that I’ll have in my career. It’s just too special,” Ambudkar says. “There’s this talk at the very end of the movie where it’s like, ‘Oh, by the way, this guy could have been in ‘Hamilton.’ But, I think the thing to take away is that the relationship of the guys has been so strong and so family first. Something that business-wise was probably an extreme letdown for Tommy and Lin, where they’re like, ‘We’ve brought this guy in and he couldn’t deliver,’ turned into the entire group galvanizing around me, linking arms and supporting me — along with everyone else in my life — during that very challenging time that I had to go through and still go through.”
It wasn’t until 2018, when the Off-Broadway run of Freestyle Love Supreme was being set up, that Kail says he called Fried and said, “‘Why don’t we finish the movie we were making 10, 15 years ago?’ And he said, ‘We were making a movie?’ And I said, ‘Well we are now.”
Looking back over the footage through their more mature lens gave them new appreciation for both their energy and spirit back in the day, as well as where it helped them get today.
“It felt like measuring on a door: ‘We were this high then and this is how much we’ve grown,‘” Kail says.
Adds Ambudkar: “The first rap I ever did on stage was in Freestyle Love Supreme. And just to watch that dude, a young guy with his baggy, baggy pants just jumping so much, so much bravado, there’s so much movement in that body. When you see later footage of m there’s a lot less of that fluidity, but there’s more polish to it. I kind of miss the exuberance of that kid, but I know that the mind is much sharper than it used to be.”
The one thing everyone involved in Freestyle Love Supreme knows is that nothing beats the vibe inside the theater during a live performance. Miranda admits that seeing the same piece played out on-screen can come with “a degree of skepticism.” That’s why it was so important for him that “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme” “deconstructed and peeled back as much of the process as possible.”
“Wouldn’t that be so freeing, to really be able to say whatever’s in your head, understanding that it stays within that pre-2005 sensibility of, ‘This is for those of us in the room’?” Miranda says of the group’s approach to live shows. “Not only was the show so dependent on us listening to the audience and the audience listening to us, but when we do the show now, we’re putting you in a time machine.”
And the fact that “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme” is launching just weeks after the “Hamilton” movie made its own debut is not lost on Miranda. But he calls the timing “total serendipity.”
“There’s this documentary about this thing we were all doing first, and I think they pair very nicely. It’s so interesting to see what we come up with in real time and then contrast that with a musical it took me seven years to write,” he says.
Lin-Manuel Miranda connects with Zane Lowe to discuss the original Broadway production of ‘Hamilton.’ He talks about hip-hop influences that inspired the writing process, recreating uncomfortable moments in history and the impact of the worldwide phenomenon.
I really like the conversation about hip-hop and history here.
Lin also made a playlist for this interview:
Robin Roberts chats with creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail and members of the cast for “Hamilton: History Has Its Eyes on You,” which will premiere on Disney+.
Go to 3:21 in and watch Renee talk about how her son grew up with the show and his “aunts and uncles”.