Once Hamilton took Broadway by stone, the role of Alexander Hamilton became Lin-Manuel Miranda’s trademark. So much so that when he was offered a role in Mary Poppins Returns, he leapt at the chance to play someone different.
“When I played Hamilton, there is no childlike wonder in Alexander Hamilton,” Miranda said. “He has a very traumatic early life. He gets on that stage and he wants to devour the world and he wants to move so fast and he wants to do everything.”
Mary Poppins Returns cast Miranda as Jack, a lamplighter who pals around with Mary (Emily Blunt) when she returns to the Banks family.
“Jack in this movie has this childlike sense of wonder,” Miranda said. “He’s in touch with that imagination you all see in your kids when they can play in their own imagination for hours. Jack never lost that.”
Miranda wrapped Hamilton performances and immediately cut his hair to play Jack. He brought his kids to see the film’s musical numbers being filmed too.
“I brought my son to set every time we filmed a musical number and to watch his eyes like saucers while daddy danced with what seems like 500 dancers and bikers, I’ll never forget the look on his face as long as I live,” Miranda said.
It wasn’t just Sebastian Miranda though. Daddy was rather impressed himself.
“There are a lot of highs on a movie like this,” Miranda said. Okay, Thursday we’ll be shutting down Buckingham Palace and riding with 500 bicyclists, and Friday you’ll be dancing with the penguins.”
Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall and producer John De Luca took Miranda for drinks between a matinee and evening performance of Hamilton.
“So I finished the matinee, rolled across the street to the Paramount Hotel and met them for a drink,” Miranda said. “They said, ‘Sequel to Mary Poppins.’ And I said, ‘Who’s going to play Mary Poppins?’ And they said, ‘Emily Blunt’ and I said, ‘Oh, that’s good.’”
Mary Poppins Returns opens Wednesday, December 19.