‘Hamilton’ Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda Reveals the Heartbreaking Childhood Tragedy That Inspired His Work

Hamilton: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda | Disney+


Lin-Manuel Miranda’s life appears to be a happy success story. His musical Hamilton was a Broadway smash and led to his movie career as an actor and continuing as a songwriter. Miranda recalled a sad time from his childhood though, and it turned out to be an incident that inspired some of his life’s work.

Lin-Manuel Miranda | Disney+

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Miranda was a guest on NPR’s Fresh Air podcast on June 29 discussing the Disney+ movie of Hamilton. He told host Terry Gross about the theme in his work that derived from a childhood tragedy. Hamilton is on Disney+ July 3.

Alexander Hamilton got a lot done before he was Lin-Manuel Miranda’s age

Miranda based Hamilton on Ron Chernow’s biography, Alexander Hamilton. Reading Chernow’s book illuminated Miranda on all the Founding Father accomplished.

He grew up in the Caribbean with a Dickensian childhood, and then wrote his way to the mainland, wrote his way into the American Revolutionary War, wrote his way into the first Cabinet, wrote his way into trouble, wrote his way into his duel… He founds the Coast Guard, he founds the New York Post, he founds so many things and I think my feeling when I was reading his biography was like why is the only thing I know about him that he died in a duel?

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Fresh Air podcast, 6/29/2020

Miranda likened Hamiton to another Broadway legend. Jonathan Larson wrote Rent but died before its first preview show.

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L-R: Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Anthony Ramos | Disney+

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“What I keyed in on was the relentlessnes,” Miranda told Gross. “How is there three lifetimes of work coming from this one guy who died in his 40s? I’m drawn to those. I’m drawn to the Jonathan Larsons of the world who hear the ticking clock louder than other folks.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is trying to cram a lot of life in like Alexander Hamilton

By 40, Miranda has accomplished a lot too. A hit musical, writing the music to Moana, playing a role in Mary Poppins Returns and having a movie adaptation of In the Heights is a lot.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo | Disney+

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Source:: Showbiz Cheat Sheet


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