Disney+ - Hamilon : pess conference
Par Mulder, Los Angeles, le 24.06.2020
Q: Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us here today. My name is Jacqueline Coley. I’m an editor from Rotten Tomatoes, and I am beyond excited to moderate this press conference for the Tony, Pulitzer, Grammy Award winning musical, Hamilton, which will be available on Disney Plus July third. Again, I cannot express with words how happy I am to be in the Zoom where it happens. Yes, I’m that cheesy. So without further ado, allow me to introduce the incredible and talented folks from the original Broadway production of Hamilton. I think-there we go. As they file on in, I’m going to introduce our filmmakers. We have director and producer, Thomas Kale. We have composer and lyricist, and also producer and playing the man himself, Alexander Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Alex Lacamoire, music supervisor and orchestrator. Daveed Diggs, who played Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. Renee Elise Goldsberry, who played Angelica Schuyler. Christopher Jackson, who played George Washington. Jasmine Cephas Jones, who played Maria Reynolds and Peggy Schuyler. Leslie Odom Jr., who played Aaron Burr, and Okieriete Onaodowan, who played Hercules Mulligan and James Madison. Anthony Ramos, who played John Lawrence and Philip Hamilton, and Phillipa Soo, who played Eliza Hamilton. Hello, all. Let’s give the world a wave. Thank you, guys. All right. We’re gonna kick it off with, I will just go ahead and say it, Lin and Thomas, I had my Hamilton will be in theaters party set. We had cocktails. We were gonna do costumes, and then y’all just said, nope. We’re gonna give it to you early and we’re gonna send it to Disney Plus on July third. Thank you for that, by the way. But I wonder if you can break down for us why you guys decided to do it now, and what was the process of making it happen?
Lin-Manuel Miranda : Tom, you want-you want to lead off?
Thomas Kail : Oh, please, you. You have a hat on.
Lin-Manuel Miranda : I have a hat on because I have very bad quarantine hair Well, listen. The world turned upside down. The world changed and I think it took us a while to realize Hamilton wasn’t gonna be playing in any theaters live in our, you know, five productions and our production in London for-for a long time, and that-that took us a minute. It took us a minute to adjust to sort of the new timeline of the world. And you know, over the course of that happening, of course we heard not only from people who were like, hey, we hear you have a Hamilton movie. we’re all home. would you please give it to us? but also, from people who had tickets to see the show somewhere in the world and weren’t able to go. And it’s an incredible-it’s been an incredible gift that Tommy has been working on this movie for the past few years, like over and over. Like checking in, he’d edit, he’d give it six months of rest, then give it another edit. and you know, we-we just sort of realized this is an incredible opportunity. we-we always said we wanted to democratize, the world seeing this company doing this show and it just felt like a good opportunity, and it happens almost exactly on the five-year anniversary that we filmed it, which is even more extraordinary. So, I don’t know if you want to add anything to that, Tommy?
Thomas Kail : that’s well said. I mean, we, you know, when we decided that this was something that-that might feel right, Disney, you know, who were planning on this coming out 15 months later, made a pipeline that was quite long, very short. and sort of put all hands on deck with us, and it just felt like an opportunity to, you know, to lower the barrier to entry. to try join this moment where not only are there no Hamilton, but there’s no live performance. There’s no concerts. There’s no Broadway. There’s no regional theater. and so the fact that this was something that captured what it felt like to be in a theater in June of 2016, a-all of sudden became an extra virtue, because it’s a reminder of what it’s like to sit in a-a-sit in a room with a group of people you’ve never met and-and have that experience.
Q: Well, that’s incredible. Well again, thank you very much, because I’m beyond excited about it, and so many people watching and who will watch it are gonna get an amazing treat. I’m gonna ask a couple members of the cast about this part too, because this is about to go to a global audience. So I’m just curious for you guys what you’re excited about, about the fact that again, an entire group of people, some of whom who’ve maybe never even heard the cast alb are gonna get to experience this for the first time. And I’ll start with you, Daveed. What are you excited about for folks getting to see it in this form?
Daveed Diggs : I think one of the-one of the things that we were always running up against on Broadway, and we only, you know, this group only ever did it on Broadway, is-is how prohibitive Broadway was for a lot of people. folks just could not afford the ticket. And if even you could, or even if there was a way to, there are only so many seats. and we were, you know, as a-as a company and an entity, in constant battle with the resale market and all like trying to do things just to get people to see the show. Lin and Tommy had the brilliant idea of blocking off the street to bring Hamilton to as many people as possible just to get i-in on the-the-the [eye?] above it, a little bit. but still, that-Broadway is Broadway, and this is a way for-to-as-as Tommy and Lin said, to really democratize the process a little bit and get, folks who couldn’t see it in to see it. And I-I know those were conversations we were always having as a group, and so it is-there’s something nice about this group being able to have that. I-I-it makes me feel good that this show is going to be able to be seen by a lot of people, because we spent so much time spinning our wheels on how to get this show seen by more people.
Q: Renee, I’m gonna ask you the same question. What you’re excited about kno-knowing it’s going out to the world.
Renée Elise Goldsberry : Definitely all of those things. and just to add to it, that it’s happening now. i- we keep learning what this show was given to us for. It’s-it’s something that we-we think we know, we think we learned, and then the world changes and we’re like, oh, no. It’s for this. And when this was announced, Tommy so beautifully said it was a celebration of what we are when we come together because we couldn’t, so let’s remember what we are so we can look forward to that, you know, and-and remember who we are when we’re watching this. And then, and then we started, you know, filling the streets again, because something became more important than protecting ourselves from a virus. And, and now we get to remember what those young people felt like, at that time when, you know, laying down your life to set us free meant something, I think this generation of people need to remember it and we needed to remember. Our young people need to see that example, and I think very-very specifically right now, you know, this group of people telling this particular story is really important so that-so that we can, like we were doing, claim this country. You know, the diverse-the diversity of this country can be claimed by all of the people that created it. That’s one of the things, one of the many things this show celebrates, and I think it’s so needed
Q: That is just incredibly well said. Thank you. And then also again, on July third, as we celebrate the nation, it’s just-it all is very perfect, which of course, would you expect anything less from this group? Personally, as a fan, I’ve seen it a million times, but I’m very excited for the folks that are gonna be able to see it for the first time. I think it’s gonna be magical for them, and they get to watch it in their PJ’s. They don’t have to dress up, like I did. so, Thomas, Alex and Lin, I want to talk about the-just the technical aspects of the translation, because this was a-a stage production that you then filmed and you’re then trying to, you know, cha- like translate that into a cinematic experience, and there’s a lot I know that goes into it. It’s a bit of a dance, [I bet?] Yeah, I did it again. so if you guys could maybe break down how you were able to translate it to the screen. And Thomas, if you want to start.
Thomas Kail : sure. so we-we shot the whole thing in three days, June 26th, June 27th and June 28th of 2016. So we captured two live performances at Sunday matinee, and a Tuesday evening performance. And then we had a little bit of time Sunday night. We had a little bit of time n Tuesday morning, and then we had all day Monday to be on stage without an audience. So the shows that we did with an audience did not stop. It-like, the cameras were positioned in the audience. The audience sat around them, but the-all the cameras were in the house or on stage, and we just ran the show as we always did. So we had six cameras with six camera operators, and then three fixed cameras for the Sunday and the Tuesday, so we switched basically .
Lin-Manuel Miranda : You know, this is gonna sound incredible in your home.
Q: Yes, I’ve seen a little bit, a little tease, and I just, ah. I cannot wait. I’m gonna be there July second at midnight. Cannot wait. Lin, I wanted to ask you one thing in particular. You recently said something that I found to be profound, and I want to get your words right. You said, “every time you make something, you’re throwing rocks into a pond and you have no idea what ripples will come back.” And I think it’s safe to say that with Hamilton, it wasn’t ripples. It was a tsunami. So, and I don’t even know if we’ve really like broken
the crest of it. I mean, we’re still-there’s still a lot to be written in this book, but I’m just curious up to this point, what has been something that has come back to you that you particularly marked and-and found to be, you know, interesting, or just something that you’ll always remember?
Lin-Manuel Miranda : Well, all of it, really. Um- first of all, that quote was actually something Priscilla Lopez told me backstage at In the Heights eights, and has stayed with me, as I see those ripples come back, as I see Anthony Ramos who’s a movie star and is so incredible in our In the Heights movie that’ll come out, next year. but I, you know, it-it is. It’s-it-you have-you have no idea how something’s gonna do, you know, six years writing it, gathering this incredible cast, some of whom were with us just for the journey to Broadway, some of us who were with us for years. and we’ve been running for five years and I think more people will see Hamilton between July third and fifth than have ever seen it before. So I don’t even know how to wrap my mind or my heart around that. I know that when I see a sign at a protest out in the street that says, “history has its eyes on you”, or “tomorrow there’ll be more of us”, I know that the language of the show, is-is connecting, in a way that makes me incredibly proud. and I can’t even wrap my mind around three weeks from now. I just can’t. I might just lock my Twitter account and-‘til the next year.
Q: No! Don’t. I-I’m not gonna lie to you. I’m so excited. Like, I just-if you could like delete it out of your brain so you could experience for the first time, and I just-those people that are gonna get to do that, they have no idea what-what they’re in store. It’s this magical gift they’re gonna get to unwrap. just so you guys know, we are gonna throw it out to questions. There’s a couple of ways that you can do that. You can go to the Q and A box, or you can just raise your hand and I will be going to those, shortly. But I am gonna go around the horn and ask everyone this one, because I think there is like, for everyone that’s here today, there’s pre-Hamilton and post-Hamilton, because that is like a line of demarcation in-in your life and I’m sure in your careers. But I’m just curious, what has been your most memorable post-Hamilton either interaction, maybe somebody coming up and singing to you on the streets? besides maybe people always asking you for tickets, which I think is probably an interaction that you all are probably sick of. So, I’m gonna start with you, Jasmine, and then we’ll-I’ll keep going around.
Jasmine Cephas Jones: post-Hamilton, I think being able to see my cast members again. When you go through something so beautiful and so intense and share so many memories and dressing rooms, a lot of the them become your family. and being able to take a step back and then being reunited with them again is just, a beautiful feeling, knowing that you are part of something that is a-a legacy and-and-and a part of-literally, a part of history. and like meeting Anthony and, you know, we’re together and meeting like Daveed, and like we’ve worked together on, another movie, Blindspotting, and just constantly being able to like also create together which is really inspiring, from the show, so...
Q: Amazing. Leslie, I’m gonna go to you next, and then I’ll keep going down.
Leslie Odom, Jr. : Well, you know, personally for me, this like closes a loop. I got to share a little bit of this with Lin yesterday when we spoke after I-I just saw the film myself, and I didn’t grow up seeing Broadway shows, you know. We didn’t-my-they were expensive, so I didn’t really grow up seeing that. So my first, you know, the way Broadway hit me, you know, was that-that cast album of Rent that changed my life and brought me to the theater. And seeing people on a stage, that were-that were a close enough facsimile to me, or what I hoped my-I-I would look like or my life look like, was a, you know, was like, a-a-a real welcome mat for me, you know, for Broadway. And-and then once I got to college and stuff, you know, it was-it was through video, videotape, you know. So, the fact that the show’s gonna live on in this way, that-that young artists, you know, I-I just-I think about, you know, I can’t help but think about me and the way that I was drawn to this thing. So, the fact that people are gonna get to see it preserved in this way me-means-means quite a bit. And I-I-yeah, I hear from young people quite regularly about what the show meant to them. It’s hard for me to wrap my brain around that, but I-but I understand it. You know, I know what Anthony and-and Daphne and Jesse and, you know, what that original cast of Rent meant to me, so it’s-it closes a loop for me.
Q: Oh, that’s amazing. Phillipa?
Phillipa Soo : I think my favorite thing about the post- Hamilton experience has been the amount of young people, of young people of color, or young women, young Asian women who have approached me and said, oh my gosh. Thank you. It is so wonderful to see someone that looks like me. To see a group of people that look like the group of people that I see when I walk out my door, or when I’m hanging out with my friends. and I think, you know, it’s-it’s always good to remember that version of yourself when you were that person, and what it felt like to look up to these people that, you know, you form your first artistic experiences with. And, I’m just excited about how many young people are gonna get to see this and be inspired to not only, maybe be artists or maybe be singers or actors, but-but be artists as citizens and participate in elections and get excited about what it means to participate in your country.
Q: Yeah, there’s a-there’s a lot of that, I think, folks being curious about their country, too. Christopher?
Christopher Jackson : a lot of thoughts and a-and a lot of feelings after having watched it and then sort of going back and-and trying to remember those sort of pre, during and post show moments. But you know, we as-as artists, our success is not always the goal. I think sometimes just carrying on becomes the goal. so being able to look at a film like this and see qu-quite literally for the first time how spectacular each one of the-the participants of this entire experience were, it’s already an a-an unlikely, endeavor to try to put something this large together. and-and-and then to-to see that it was so, impactful, and successful becomes a very, meaningful word, not in the result of the box office or the enthusiasm from other people, but the fact that we actually got to pull this thing together and then find a way to make it work on-on a daily basis. That-you know, life is fraught for everyone, was then, is now, in so many different ways, but it’s also a-a-a testament to commitment and a testament to, so many people being so very, very good at what they do in s-in-in-in-in-in spirit and in deed and in-and in-and in commitment. I-I am just personally just astounded that it’s as good as it is. And so I’m having-kind of having the experience that other people that got to see it had. Like, it-I-you’re doing a thing, but like you don’t know how impact-how-how impacted you will be. and-and I just-it-it-I just kind of shake my head and say, how in the world is this kind of feeling possible from sitting and watching this-this-this story that we all told? [but?] every, single that participated didn’t know just how incredible they were, ‘cause I’m only looking from the side or from behind. I never got to sit from the perspective of the audience member and just lose myself in how pow-in the power and in the intelligence and in the expertise that was put on that stage. and it just-it-it just blows my mind. I’m-it-it-it is an over, you know, I’m continually overwhelmed when I think about what I got to experience. and I can’t wait for it to come out so I can watch it again, because I need to like-and I-and I find myself having the same experience that folks who come to see it, multiple times if they’ve been able to come and see it, because you just want to be able to-to touch that thing again and touch-touch the-I-I don’t-I don’t know what the word is, but it-it-it-it’s-it’s-it’s an overwhelming feeling to know that we were, we all agreed and we all came together and did that for such a long periodrelatively long period of time, and that so many people are gonna get to have that experience again. Like, it-it’s really, really extraordinary.
Q: I mean, this is from a man that was in it. Just imagine. Just imagine, y’all. All right, Ok, if you can finish-this and then we’re gonna go to Q and A quickly.
Okieriete Onaodowan : I think-I think right now, I’m literally in, the most exciting post moment, I had a-when I was watching the [sea berry?] scene and seeing Hamilton get up and speak out against something that wasn’t true. I’m most excited to see how this affects young, black people today with what’s going on after George Ford’s death in the streets and protesting. I like the fact that on our show, the way he fought back was through legislation, through change, you know, through writing. So I’m very excited to see how this inspires this movement. how this inspires a conversation around what’s happening and what has been happening to black and brown people in this country. And I’m excited for young kids who are out there who are upset and angry, that they can watch this and realize that they can put their energies through writing, through challenging the people who are telling you things that you don’t like to hear, like Hamilton did. Through-through speaking out through your pen and not just with rage and anger, which is within them. So I’m most excited, really, to see how this
inspires these young people to pay more attention to who’s in charge and be vocal with their-with their texting, their e-mails and all that stuff, as well as with their voices. so yeah.
Q: Yeah. We are in a time of revolution, so this a very perfect time to have this. I’m actually gonna go to a question from the African American Film Critics first, and Rebecca Ford. She wanted to know, there’s a lot of fine details in the production. Is there any particular little touch that you put in, that, you specifically wanted to get in there? And I’ll ask this one specifically to Thomas and to Lin.
Thomas Kail : I can answer very quickly [in it?]. The onlike the detail that I wanted to try to capture and preserve was the work of this company, the work of our designers, the work of the author. It was-it was that simple. this idea that we don’t-we don’t go into this movie thinking this is necessarily, an opportunity for us all to share and one common idea that we have the same vantage point. There’s a-there’s something very unifying about that idea, and I-I think in the proximity that you gain, in-in experiencing this in a cinematic way, I-I, you know, hope this-the film speaks for itself. But the detail and the specificity of work from the folks you’re seeing here, from the other folks that were on stage and what the [designers did?], like it was about that. So just-just that and all that for me.
Lin-Manuel Miranda : I like that you can see Lacamoire’s head popping up from the stage occasionally. That’s another, sometimes we’re looking at his hair for our musical cues, because we can’t see his hands. so I’m glad that that popped up. And it pops up, occasionally. But-but really, the other thing Tommy does so well, is he does capture so much detail, like you asked in your question, so that you are seeing how exacting that ensemble member is, even if they’re not the one speaking at that particular moment. Tommy’s everywhere the camera needs to be. And, I’m- I’m grateful for seeing details I never saw in the show while I was performing it. I see something new every time.
Q: Awesome. I’m gonna ask this one to you, Anthony, because I know that Thomas and Linn won’t answer it. But you recently obviously are going to play the lead role in In the Heights, and this is a movie musical adaptation, and I know this is a film, but would you like to see a Hamilton movie film adaptation?
Anthony Ramos :: Yeah.
Q: Can you make them do it?
Anthony Ramos : And if I’m correct, this movie comes out so the rights go out again. So you know what I’m saying, we could make this shit happen. You know, we-we know how the ins and outs go with this. So I’m saying, what’s up? You know, we did In the Heights, so you know, just let me know, Lin, when we ready to do Hamilton. You know, I’ll be here.
Q: Yeah, I think-I think we definitely got our answer on that. For [Mance?]. For [Mance?].
Anthony Ramos : [I’m in?]
Q: I’m-I’m so-I’m so sorry we didn’t get to more of the Q and A, but I did want to make sure everyone got a chance to speak today. I just want to again, thank you all for watching. I want to thank Disney for making this happen, and more particularly, to the original Broadway production of Hamilton. I want to thank you guys for your time, your presence here today, and what you did in the production is a gift, and I am eternally grateful, along with millions of others, and I just want to again, thank you for that. again, my name is Jacqueline and you can find Hamilton. It’s going to premiere on Disney Plus July third. Thank you all, again. Much appreciated.
Thomas Kail : Certified fresh. Thank you!
Q: It will be. It will be. It will be. Trust.
Thomas Kail : Great to see you, Jacqueline. Thank you so much.
Q: Thank you, guys.
The musical details Hamilton's life in two acts, along with how various historical characters influenced his life such as Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, Aaron Burr, John Laurens, Hercules Mulligan, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, Angelica Schuyler, Peggy Schuyler, Philip Hamilton, and former presidents George Washington, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson.
Filmed at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016, the film transports its audience into the world of the Broadway show in a uniquely intimate way. With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and direction by Thomas Kail, Hamilton is inspired by the book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow and produced by Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeffrey Seller, with Sander Jacobs and Jill Furman serving as executive producers. Filming was produced by RadicalMedia. The 11-time-Tony Award-, GRAMMY Award-, Olivier Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning stage musical stars: Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson; Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler; Jonathan Groff as King George; Christopher Jackson as George Washington; Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds; Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton; Leslie Odom, Jr. as Aaron Burr; Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison; Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton; and Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton.
Music, lyrics, book : Lin-Manuel Miranda
Basis : Alexander Hamilton Ron Chernow
Premiere : January 20, 2015: The Public Theater, New York City
Productions : Vassar College (2013), Off-Broadway (2015), Broadway (2015), First North America tour (2017), West End (2017), Second North America tour (2018), Third North America tour) (2019)
Transcription: Boris Colletier
Reread and corrections : Felipe Acevedo
Photos : Copyright Disney +