How the Cast of Hamilton Took the Show from Theaters to TV Screens
“At the time we were shooting this, I have never had any film or TV experience beforehand,” says the star of Hamilton, Daveed Diggs. He was referring to the Disney remake of the popular Lin-Manuel Miranda-produced musical. “Tommy had said to me, just do your part, and we will catch it,” said the star about Thomas Kail’s calm reassurance as he directed the movie in 2016.
A talented actor who portrayed the dual roles of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the on-stage/on-camera Hamilton version, Diggs spoke at the panel for the movie during the awards event by Contenders Television: The Nominees. Hamilton musical earned 12 different nominations in anticipation for the future Primetime Emmy Awards for various outstanding acting features.
Diggs was remotely joined by fellow original castmates of the Hamilton – Phillipa Soo, Aaron Burr, Leslie Odom Jr, and Renee Elise Goldsberry. In Soo’s perspective, the influence of the musical in various mediums is one of the reasons for its existence.
“You get this feeling like this is why you loved to tell stories and let your audience feel as though they are part of the stories,” she explains. “Why ultimately hoping that your audience gets to empathize with you, a collective need for us to know about each other and to know about ourselves…and keep on with those conversations soon as we have seen the art we just witnessed.”
Showing for the first time on the freshly launched Disney+ platform on the 3rd of July, Hamilton demonstrated once more that it was a cultural reference point as Americans and the rest of the world settle during the initial months of the coronavirus.
Moved from a theatrical release of 2021 that was slated originally for the House of Mouse before the pandemic shutdown everything, this musical hybrid event witnessed an increased number of downloads and subscribers for the Disney+.
Captured during various series involving 2016 live performances at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in Broadway, Hamilton witnessed the development of new strengths of the cast members for this new platform.
“I was told that our performance has to be modulated in a certain way,” revealed Odom.
“We all know that to make a good use of enough space at the theatre to ensure that everyone from the last seat rows in the balcony to the very first row at the front, got a beautiful experience,” added Odom. “Then, when the cameras started rolling, we had the chance to narrate our intensely intimate story.”
In Goldsberry’s perspective, Hamilton, the movie for Disney+, is the legacy of the musical’s stage show both literally and figuratively.
“You just have to believe the fact that a raw emotion works anywhere whether on stage or when shooting a show for TV or on set during a film,” explained Goldsberry. “But the biggest challenge I faced with the filming process was to switch on the part of my voice that compelled people to think that this is just a performance for the night.”