Chimney Sweep

Lin-Manuel Miranda on Why a ‘Puerto Rican Dude’ in ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ Is Such a Breakthrough

This story about Lin-Manuel Miranda and “Mary Poppins Returns” was taken from an interview conducted by TheWrap for the January issue of Oscar magazine.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is breaking new ground in the theater with his Broadway hit “Hamilton”, which recast the founding fathers with hip-hop music and non-white actors. But these days, the self-proclaimed New York City “Puerto Rican” is especially happy that Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall cast him as the title character’s pal, a job Dick Van Dyke took on in the 1964 original film.

Miranda plays a lamp lighter named Jack, who was an apprentice to the chimney sweep, Bert, played by Van Dyke. Like its predecessor, Miranda influences a Cockney accent – but its race and background are never mentioned and never an issue.

“It feels meaningful, just like it felt to me when I saw Raúl Juliá as Gomez Addams in The Addams Family,” said Miranda of his casting. “This character wasn’t a Latino guy in the original Nick at Night series when I saw this show. Or seeing Rita Moreno in ‘The Electric Company’ when I was a kid.

“Not only do we play unquoted Latino roles, but we also play great roles where race is just part of it. I think it’s a step forward for representation, ”he said.

Miranda said his casting in a major Disney movie also felt like the culmination of something that began when he appeared on a hip-hop comedy troupe as a student at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and did the first draft of a musical wrote that it should become Broadway Click “In the Heights”.

“I started writing ‘In the Heights’ because I really wanted to be in musicals and I didn’t see any role in what was out there,” he said. “You know, I don’t have the ballet experience to play Bernardo or Paul on ‘A Chorus Line’ – and if you were a Puerto Rican it was. So it was in canon.

“And so I started writing ‘In the Heights’ at the age of 19 because I saw no other way for me. I wrote In the Heights and Bring It On and Hamilton to open up opportunities as an actor. That these incredible talents would come to me with ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ and write these songs that fit me like a tailor-made suit – it felt like the result of all the hard work I started when I was 19. “

What can “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda not? (Photos)

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  • Miranda is such a big deal that he got the chance to voice the Loud Hailer during a performance of Broadway’s “Les Miserables” just because he’s a huge fan and it was a lifelong dream of his. Check that from the bucket list.


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    Miranda and the cast of “Hamilton” were not only allowed to perform in the White House, but the creator / writer / star was then able to make friends with the president himself by rapping the union’s status from cues held high by Barack Obama himself.


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    “Hamilton” became such a big deal that the Treasury Department put plans to replace Alexander Hamilton with a woman on the $ 10 bill on hold. Instead, the $ 10 father will be left without a father, while Harriet Tubman will instead replace Andrew Jackson on the $ 20 bill.

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  • Even Disney and JJ Abrams are huge Miranda fans. He has done cantina music for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will compose for the animated Moana, and will star in Mary Poppins with Emily Blunt. And of course to continue to play in “Hamilton”.


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    Miranda’s latest goal is to get Congress to allow Puerto Rico to declare bankruptcy amid a major economic crisis. John Oliver devoted an entire section to “Last Week Tonight” and then invited Miranda, who had already spoken about the subject in DC, to come on stage and do what he does best. “Hamilton” tickets and even private performances are on the table. Paul Ryan, your move.


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The creator of “Hamilton” urges Congress to act on Puerto Rico’s economic crisis and there is a precedent that says it will succeed

The all-rounder Lin-Manuel Miranda has done everything from Broadway to the White House performing. Here’s a look at his accomplishments over the years.

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