6 Things you might not know about Lin-Manuel Miranda
1. He is no overnight success
Many people know Lin-Manuel Miranda as the creator and (now former) star of Broadway hip-hop sensation Hamilton, but what some may not know is that he already had an multi-award-winning show called In the Heights under his belt. Miranda wrote and starred in the musical, which was performed on Broadway from 2008 to 2011. It was nominated for thirteen Tony Awards, of which it won four: Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, and Best Orchestrations. He also won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics in 2014 for the 67th Tony Awards opening number he penned with Tom Kitt.
2. He took six years to write Hamilton
He first came across Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton in 2008. After reading the first few chapters, Miranda started envisioning the life of Hamilton as a musical and that spurred the beginnings of the now-Broadway hit. Chernow served as historical consultant to the production, and Miranda worked meticulously to ensure the songs and lyrics properly reflect Hamilton's intellect and vocabulary. It apparently took him over a year to write 'My Shot', one of the most memorable numbers from the show.
3. He is not afraid to voice his political opinions
Miranda is no stranger to politics. His dad was a political advisor, thus politics was a common topic in his household growing up. Fun fact: he wrote former New York governor Eliot Spitzer's campaign jingle in 2004. Aside from playing Hamilton—one of the founding fathers of the United States—onstage, he supported Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton quite publicly during the past election. After her loss, he expressed his disappointed, but also noted it gave him "a very pronounced case of moral clarity". "This does not change the things that I believe in... I know who I am, and I know what I'm going to fight for in the years to come," said Miranda in an interview.
4. He is a serious Disney fan
Miranda's son is named Sebastian—does that remind you of a certain Disney character? (Hint: he's red in colour and lives under the sea) Not surprising, given that Miranda has seen The Little Mermaid "a ba-jillion times". And now, he's set to play a part in the live action adaption of the 1989 animated movie. Although it hasn't been confirmed if he'll be starring in the film, but he will be co-writing the soundtrack with Alan Menken, original composer of the much-loved animated classic. Miranda is certainly living the Disney dream, having recently worked on Moana, and we'll also be seeing him in the upcoming Mary Poppins sequel alongside Emily Blunt.
5. He was involved in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Believe it or not, Lin-Manuel Miranda and J.J. Abrams co-wrote and sang a song (link here) for the film. You hear them in The Force Awakens' version of the cantina scene, which takes place at Maz Kanata's castle in Takodana. See how this collaboration came about here:
6. He is one award away from a MacPEGOT
What's an EGOT? Essentially the grand slam of American show business, it is when someone has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. Only a handful of individuals have done it, including Audrey Hepburn, Mel Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg. But forget EGOT, Miranda might actually be the first person to bag a MacPEGOT—that's an EGOT winner who has also won the MacArthur and the Pulitzer. He is only an Oscar away from it. With Moana in the running this year and the likes of The Little Mermaid and Mary Poppins in the works, it looks all too possible in the near future. But hey, MacPEGOT or not—the man is no doubt one of the most brilliant musical masterminds of our time.
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