Lin-Manuel Miranda + Vanessa Nadal
Lin-Manuel Miranda + Vanessa Nadal
I can’t possibly live up to what everyone thinks I am and what everyone’s expectations of me are. It’s weird—sometimes [success] can be incredibly validating, but sometimes it can be incredibly unnerving and throw your balance off a bit, because you’re trying to reconcile how you feel about yourself with how the rest of the world perceives you.
Vanessa Nadal wore a Yumi Kim White Glamour Night Silk Midi Dress and Nathan&Moe jewelry at the Los Angeles opening of Hamilton. [Jewelry info source: Stacy London]
Nathan&Moe is a boho chic jewelry line known for having just enough rocker edge for the fashion forward without intimidating the less fearless. [Source]
Lin-Manuel Miranda + Vanessa Nadal
Vanessa Nadal wore an Hervé Léger Sugar Plum Bandage Dress the night before the wedding [September 4, 2010] and to the “Bring It On: The Musical” Broadway opening night [August 1, 2012].
Saoirse Ronan for Vanity Fair, The Hollywood Issue.
Photos by Emmanuel Lubezki.
Mary Poppins Returns star Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw photographed by Irvin Rivera for The Wrap.
I can’t use it from the computer because it doesn’t load, and I can’t use from the phone because it’s all messed up. I miss you, folks.
[Photo credit: LinMiranda.com]
This might have seemed like an inevitable upward trajectory, but, says Miranda, his creative life has always been a juggle. “Before I had any shows by me being produced anywhere, I was balancing being a substitute teacher with dancing at bar mitzvahs and writing articles and writing jingles. You’re always balancing — the only difference now is the success of Hamilton has allowed me to balance work I’m really passionate about. If I’m ever in a time crunch, I go, oh, what an incredible problem I have.”
Miranda, a creative figure with a singular embrace of innovation and tradition, found himself a man very much in demand. He was still appearing in Hamilton when he was offered his first major film role. It came at a brief meeting with a well-known director and producer.
“It was a two-show day,” Miranda says. “I had finished the matinee and I went and met them at the hotel across the street for a quick glass of tea. And they said, ‘We’re making a sequel to Mary Poppins. We have a part for you.’ ”
Over tea at the Broadway meeting, Miranda asked director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca who they were casting as Mary Poppins. “They said, Emily Blunt. And I said, ‘Oh, that’s perfect.’ ” When it came to discussing the role, he recalls, “They were open to everything. They said, if you want him to be American he can be, and I said, No, I’m trying my hand at the accent. We’re doing this. I don’t want to be in a Mary Poppins movie and not have a British accent.”
The part they proposed to him was that of a character called Jack, an apprentice to Bert, the breezy knockabout cockney played by Dick Van Dyke in the 1964 Disney musical. Miranda says the key to Jack is that “he is someone who has not lost touch with his inner child”.
“And as someone who is constantly trying to keep promises to the younger version of me, I feel like that’s one of my jobs.” It’s all about keeping a connection with the things he did as a child, he says. “Making movies and making up songs and dancing around my living room to Michael Jackson videos or Supercalifragilisticexpialodocious. Being a creative person is honouring the impulse I think all kids have and some kids nurture. And I think my life is about nurturing it.”
Miranda, 38, may have created the biggest musical success of recent times, but he’s also written a foreword to Age Happens: Garfield Hits the Big 4-0, a book by Jim Davis celebrating the 40th-anniversary edition of Garfield, and collaborated with spoof songwriter Weird Al Yankovic on a five-minute version of the musical called The Hamilton Polka.
It’s also been a while, it turns out, since Miranda has been on set for Mary Poppins Returns: principal photography finished in May last year. The long period of post-production, he says, is in part “because Rob was committed to doing hand-drawn animations. So he’s got senior animators teaching younger CGI animators the craft. There’s an entire school of learning happening, because you don’t want CGI penguins in this movie. You want it to ideally sit side-by-side with the original.” Since 1964, Miranda says, special effects technology has changed dramatically, but that’s not a reason to adopt it slavishly or unthinkingly. “There’s a lot more technology available, but he’s using it in the service of making it feel of a piece with the original film and a companion to it.”
As a lover of musicals from an early age, Miranda says that Mary Poppins had its place in his life growing up. “Similar to most children of the 1980s, I had Mary Poppins in the fluffy white VHS box — Disney boxes were just a little bigger than the standard one — but I do have to confess I never saw the ending until I was much older because I would cry so hard every time I heard Feed the Birds that I turned the movie off. I found it one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking songs, and as a kid, that’s a lot.”
Later in life, as a parent — Miranda has two young sons — he read PL Travers’s books and realised that Mary “is not all sunshine and rainbows, she’s firm with those kids”. Blunt’s take on the character, he says, “is so brilliant. She put her own spin on Mary Poppins. She’s a little quicker with the kids, that’s the best way I have of describing it — she feels like something out of a 1930s screwball comedy; there’s a touch of Katharine Hepburn in her responses. Very dry.”
A sequel isn’t something Disney dreamed up out of nowhere; Travers, the Australian-born author of the Mary Poppins books, wrote several further instalments. In the movie Mary Poppins Returns, the character comes back into the lives of the Banks family decades later, in the 1930s. The children, Michael and Jane (Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer), have grown up, Miranda says, and forgotten the adventures they had with their nanny, but his character, Jack, still remembers.
“He knows that all those incredible things Mary Poppins did are real, and she is connected to his inner child in a very real way. So it’s a different relationship with Mary because he’s a little in awe of her. And when she feels the wind from the east, as the old lyric goes, he knows exactly what’s about to go down.”
The 1964 movie was a critical and box office hit that made a star out of Julie Andrews and was nominated for 13 Oscars, including best picture — it was the only Disney movie to get a best picture nomination in Walt Disney’s lifetime.
It takes a bit of nerve, Miranda says, to revisit and extend the story for the screen. “But I don’t know anyone else I would trust it to. Rob and John have taken the most beloved properties, a Kander and Ebb musical like Chicago that no one ever thought would be a movie, or one of Sondheim’s trickiest works, Into the Woods, and they handle everything they make with such love and care.
“The score and the songs are written by two of my heroes, Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitman, and if there were ever a modern-day Sherman Brothers” — Robert B. and Richard M, who wrote scores of songs for dozens of film musicals, including the 1964 Mary Poppins — “it’s them. I’ve been a huge fan of Marc’s since he used to write Billy Crystal’s monologue songs for the Oscars, down to South Park,down to Hairspray and every way in between, and what I can tell you about the feel of the music is that it feels of a piece with the original film. They grew up loving the Sherman Brothers and it’s really a love letter to their sound and their style. And there’s absolutely some 30s feel as well.”
He also gives a tick of approval to celebrated English costume designer Sandy Powell, who specialises in extravagant, fairytale and period costume, in everything from Carol and Cinderella to Gangs of New York and Velvet Goldmine. “She’s a bit like a Mary Poppins character herself, she’s got the swipe of orange hair, the immaculate clothes, she drops in out of nowhere and suddenly everybody’s wearing an amazing new outfit. Man, did we have fun with her!”
Since Mary Poppins Returns, Miranda has been involved in another fantasy adventure aimed at a slightly older audience: an eight-part TV adaptation of His Dark Materials, the series of novels by Philip Pullman.
Once again, he was in the midst of another role when the call came. “That happened when Jack Thorne [the writer] and Jane Tranter, the producer, actually approached me when I was filming Mary Poppins and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. I was living in Notting Hill and buying Philip Pullman original print editions — they caught me right when I was reading the first book in its original British title, Northern Lights.” The trilogy’s main character, Lyra, is played by Dafne Keen, the youthful, ferociously combative young heroine of the X-Men adventure Logan. Miranda is one of the people who helps Lyra on her quest, Texan adventurer and hot-air balloon pilot Lee Scoresby.
Read the full article in the Australian if you have subscriber access.
He wanted to do the British accent.
“I think it’s very interesting that certain parts of the media have, I don’t want to say purposefully, but let’s just say misrepresented my meaning and exactly what I said. So I would suggest to those people in the media that they re-read the entirety of the essay and not just take one bit out of it because the comments that I made are completely about our culture that silences women’s truths and forces us all to hide and I absolutely did not shame anybody in any way, in fact, quite the opposite. So I would say to everybody, there is a wonderful book out at the moment, it’s called Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies) and I suggest if you want to know about this then you should actually read the essay and all the others in the book and the wonderful thing is that all the proceeds go to Girl Up which is a phenomenal UN foundation which gives money to organisations that are supporting girls’ education, girls’ safety and girls’ leadership in developing countries.”
— Keira Knightley responds to reports saying she “slammed” Kate Middleton in an essay about pregnancy and feminism
(via knightleyfans )
get to know me game:
rules: complete the fifteen questions and tag ten others who you follow but you want to get to know more!
Tagged by: @ghost-of-bambi
Natalie Portman in Venice .
Got me looking so crazy right now
Your love’s got me looking so crazy right now (your love)
Got me looking so crazy right now
Your touch got me looking so crazy right now (your touch)
Got me hoping you’ll page me right now
Your kiss got me hoping you’ll save me right now
Looking so crazy, your love’s got me looking
Got me looking so crazy, your love
Happy 8th Anniversary to Vanessa and Lin-Manuel!