Chat with the Stars: Lin-Manuel Miranda discusses origins of ‘Hamilton’ with FOX4

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspired by Ron Chernow’s book “Hamilton” (2004). The biography made such an impression on Miranda that he asked Chernow to act as the project’s historical consultant. Miranda’s musical is motivated by a sense that “Hamilton” has traditionally been the most overlooked and misunderstood founding father combined with his love of Hip-Hop.  

The musical has been a smash hit on Broadway since its premiere in 2015, audiences flocking to the show the world over. “Hamilton” is indeed such a phenomenon that it is sold out anywhere and everywhere. “Hamilton” received a record-setting 16 nominations in 13 categories, ultimately winning 11 total.   

Miranda talks to FOX4 News film critic about the origins of the musical and what inspired him.

SHAWN EDWARDS:

Where did this idea originate from?

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA:

Two things happened at the same time. One, this is an immigrant story — before we even have an United States — it’s about a founder who came here from somewhere else. Two, this is a Hip-Hop story. This is about someone who wrote about his struggle so well he transcended his circumstances. And that’s what my favorite Hip-Hop artist have always done. So those sort of impulses happened at the same time and that’s what birthed the idea for this musical.

SHAWN EDWARDS

Talk a little bit about how this show really helped increase the appeal of Hip-Hop to an entirely different audience?

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA

Well what’s crazy is that Hip-Hop is 40 years old and still had not really made significant in-roads. That’s the greater sort of injustice of the thing. What’s interesting is that there is something about “Hamilton” that has a lot of ‘on-ramps.’ If you are a musical theater fan and hadn’t necessarily listened to Hip-Hop that’s your way in. If you are a Hip-Hop fan who didn’t really mess with musicals that was your way in. If you were a history fan who didn’t really go and see theater that’s your way in. So the fact that it’d this on ramp for so many folks and it all meets in the middle is very gratifying to me.

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