I was beyond excited to chat with Lin Manuel Miranda. Aftwer screening Mary Poppins he’s amazing performance had propelled me to another level of eagerness to meet with him. Then the moment he walked in to our Interview he says “You are the highlight of my day” I was done! But our exclusive interview was just begining. We talk about his secret weapon, Gertie and tell you how Lin Manuel Miranda Climbs Big Ben For Work In Mary Poppins Returns
Disney invited me to an all expense trip to enjoy the Mary Poppins Returns Movie World Premiere. All opinions shared are 100% my own.
Lin Manuel Miranda Climbs Big Ben For Work In Mary Poppins Returns
We have all heard about the genius that Lin Manuel is. His works The Heights and Hamilton have been pleasing thousands of theatergoers. He has also delighted us with songs he wrote for Disney’s Moana, for example. Now he comes to Disney movies as Jack a “leery” or lamplighter full of hope that amazes us with fabulous song and dance. We spoke to him about his inspiration, working with Meryl Streep, the difference between a Broadway musical and a movie musical. All this and much more he passionately and candidly answered for us in a Mary Poppins Returns exclusive interview that I will not forget.
Performing Work Other Than Lin Manuel Miranda’s Own
His artistry is something to admire. More so he is a true Orgullo Latino. We all see a man that not only made a name for himself, but he made his own path. This is how he feels about working on something that is not his own:
“It is the fruit of the harvest. No, honestly, I started writing, In The Heights because I very quickly realized at age eighteen that no one was gonna write my dream musical. That I did not have the ballet training to play Bernardo in West Side Story or Paul in A Chorus Line. And if you’re a Puerto Rican dude that’s all you get, in the cannon. So In The Heights really was the beginning of creating my own opportunities. Hamilton is an extension of that. And then to have Rob Marshall call you and tell you, you know, it’s Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins and you’re the only other person we have in mind and we’re gonna build from there. It felt like the fruit of the harvest. The harvest I began when I was eighteen years old.”
Lin Manuel Miranda and Jack On Inspiring Others That Everything is Possible.
The love for his art just oozes non-stop from Lin Manuel Miranda. As in most things with art, it is the little things and those closest to us that spark the most fantastic things. Case and point when we asked him how he felt he could inspire children that everything is possible with his Mary Poppins Returns role. This is his answer:
“I was inspired by my son. We started making (this movie) right when my son was turning two. He was just gaining language. And, for my character the biggest note Rob Marshall gave me is that all the other grownups forget what it’s like to be a child except for Jack. And so my biggest research was watching my son play in Princess Di park in Kensington Park in London, watching his boundless imagination. We are all born with that. I think that’s inherent in us until life does what it does. And so you know, that was my secret weapon in finding Jack. I had a two-year-old research assistant who kept me childlike and kept me in that mode.”
A Broadway Musical as opposed to a Movie Musical for Lin Manuel Miranda
“You finish the eight-minute dance number and you wait a year and a half for applause. But honestly, you’re trying to tell the truth on stage and you’re trying to tell the truth in film. The difference is the energy source. Doing eight shows a week is a yoga. You’re gonna hit the same positions every night but you’re gonna hit ’em differently depending on your energy,
the audience, you’re fellow performers. And you have two the next day.
The energy source in making a film is, especially a film like this, today you’re dancing with penguins. Tomorrow you’re singing with Meryl Streep. Friday you’re shutting down Buckingham Palace with 800 bikers. And you’re not coming back. We’re not going back to the Penguins next week. You don’t get two shows a day with Meryl Streep tomorrow. So the adrenaline source becomes this is a once-in-a-lifetime moment and you have to be completely present. And so it just shifts from the audience to the sheer one-of-a-kindness of it.”
Lin Manuel Miranda and Gertie, The Bike
Jack travels around London in a special bike. It has a heavy ladder on one side! How do you sing, dance, ride and everything else at the same time? Lin Manuel Miranda does make it look very easy:
“I called (the bike) Gertie because she was not your average bike. This is not your Schwinn 10-speed. This is an old bike with a 20-pound ladder in a basket on your right side. So you’re constantly accounting for that. So I would bike to craft services and I would bike around. I biked that thing all over Shepperton Studios until it was second nature to me. And then in the sequences where all the kids and Mary Poppins are on the bike, we just had a set of training wheels that we C.G.I.’ed out. So it’s really me driving those kids on that bike. There’s just a certain limit to how far they can tip over thanks to the training wheels. And those are taken out in post (production).”
The Mary Poppins Scene Lin Manuel Miranda is Most Proud of
It is hard for Lin Manuel Miranda to choose the scene that he loves the most or is most proud of. This is because some scenes took a lot of work, mastery, and practice. Some others speak to him because they are as he puts it, his own fault. He shares: “Tommy Kail, who directed Hamilton, said he was most moved [LAUGHS]. Sorry, it makes me laugh. He was most moved when he saw me slide down the banister in Trip A Little Light Fantastic because I’d been doing, that’s like the one thing I actually know how to do really well. And as Tommy Kail put it, “You don’t know how to land a joke or sing a note or grow a beard without practice. But man you were born to slide down banisters.”
He did point out the continuous dance sequence in Trip A Little Light Fantastic, which runs as an eight-minute dance sequence. You have to watch the movie. It is simply fabulous, and so much fun.
Lin Manuel Miranda Climbs Big Ben For Work In Mary Poppins Returns
His inspiration for Jack, has not seen the film yet. Nevertheless, Lin Manuel Miranda tells us that he can’t wait for his son to watch the film. Here is something that would make any father proud, I think: ” I brought him to work every time I had a musical number. And when we would drive through London while we were living there, he would point at Big Ben and say, “Daddy climbs that for work.” So I’m so curious now that he has much more language than he did, how those moments will sort of percolate and solidify in his brain.”
From The Heights to Mary Poppins Returns
Everything we say about Lin Manuel Miranda feels as if it will fall short. His performance in Mary Poppins Returns is truly something to enjoy and take in. Before we go, here are 3 more fun facts Lin Manuel Miranda shared with us:
- Emily Blunt whispered in his ear accent tips along with his dictions classes to master the Cockney accent.
- Working with Meryl Streep is a joy for him. He shared how she keeps kind of in character even when the cameras are not rolling
- Music is his catalyst for everything.
Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns
Hits theaters on December 19th and you NEED to get your tickets. Get ready for a lovely story of hope that gifts us enchanting music and phenomenal performances!
What caught your eye from our Lin Manuel Miranda Exclusive Mary Poppins Returns Interview?