Lin-Manuel Miranda had a really emotional experience shooting In the Heights, because it was filmed in the neighbourhood where he lives.
The actor/writer has a small role as his own grandfather in the new movie, based on the stage musical he created, and he admitted it was a joy to be able to walk to work and see the parks and buildings in Washington Heights, New York come to life on screen.
“It was the only time I’ve ever gotten to walk to work in my career,” he told Good Morning America.
“The show is a love letter to this neighbourhood and to get to have those songs play in the neighbourhood was so emotional. The song where (characters) Benny and Nina are singing When You’re Home, they’re in J. Hood Wright Park – that’s the park I walk through with my son every morning to take him to pre-K (preschool); that was where Vanessa, my wife, lived in her first apartment by herself; her grandmother’s building is visible in the movie. It’s like the movie is on top of our life up here.”
Miranda admits he was reluctant to appear in the film version of his musical but agreed to play Mr. Piraguero to make sure the character featured in the film.
“I had the perfect experience with my Broadway family… and so I was happy to let the movie have its own experience,” he said.
In the Heights, which also stars Anthony Ramos, and Corey Hawkins, is in cinemas now.