"It’s been interesting to see the different things that pop up, because I was trying to tell this specific story, but I was grabbing from the America I know," Lin-Manuel Miranda tells WSJ. Magazine

By Lindsay Kimble
June 22, 2020 09:15 AM
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Lin-Manuel Miranda
Inez & Vinoodh for WSJ. Magazine

Hamilton hits different in America, today, Lin-Manuel Miranda says.

Miranda — who created and starred in the Tony-winning musical about Alexander Hamilton — opened up about the upcoming release of a recording of the stage show on Disney+ to WSJ. Magazine, as well as how the message of the production resonates in the United States amid social unrest.

When asked what song from the show, he feels, is most relevant right now, Miranda told the magazine, "The Farmer Refuted." The lyrics include, "chaos and bloodshed are not a solution."

“That is, to me, the dialogue that’s happening now,” Miranda told WSJ. Magazine. "There’s nothing new about what’s happening. It’s been interesting to see the different things that pop up, because I was trying to tell this specific story, but I was grabbing from the America I know. So it all hits in different ways, based on where America is.”

The 40-year-old said that while protests against police brutality and systemic racism grip the country in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, he's "as OK and as fed up and as tired and as energized and as angry and ... I’m where everybody else is."

As a public figure, Miranda has a platform and a certain responsibility to lend his voice to the conversation — a responsibility he says he doesn't really enjoy.

"You want to put your energy into the thing you feel like you have a calling to do,” he told the magazine. “I feel I’m much better at writing a show than I am writing a tweet. So you want to put all the energy there. But the world, in the shape it’s in, doesn’t allow for exclusively that. I don’t see a monastic way forward in which I can just quietly give you a musical every five years."

Earlier this month, he apologized for the delay by the official social media accounts for Hamilton to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Inez & Vinoodh for WSJ. Magazine
Inez & Vinoodh for WSJ. Magazine

The hit show features a diverse cast playing America's founding fathers and influential figures of the country's history.

"We spoke out on the day of the Pulse shooting. We spoke out when Vice President Mike Pence came to our show 10 days after the election. That we have not yet firmly spoken the inarguable truth that Black Lives Matter and denounced systematic racism and white supremacy from our official Hamilton channels is a moral failure on our part," Miranda said in a video. "As the writer of the show, I take responsibility and apologize for my part in this moral failure."

The film version of the musical — originally slated for October 21 theatrical release — was pushed up to July 3 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Disney met the decision with "great energy," Miranda said.