What Vanessa Hudgens Is Most Proud About Adapting Tick, Tick Boom With Lin-Manuel Miranda And Andrew Garfield

If you’ve been seeing threefold Vanessa Hudgens over on Netflix, you may want to look again, because aside from the actress returning to her holiday franchise Princess Switch 3: Romancing The Star, her role in the critically-acclaimed musical, Tick, Tick… Boom! recently debuted on the streaming service as well. The triple-threat had a chance to return to her theatre roots for the Lin-Manuel Miranda film, and help tell a story near and dear to her heart. 

CinemaBlend spoke with Vanessa Hudgens about her experience on the project, she shared what she’s most proud about being a part of Tick, Tick… Boom! In her words: 

Jonathan’s story. Most people know him from Rent but he had an entire life before that and was constantly working and doing the work. So, it’s just really cool to pull back the curtain and give a real, authentic look at what it means to be an artist.

Tick, Tick… Boom! is an adaptation of a semi-autobiographical musical written by Jonathan Larson, who is best known for writing Rent. Prior to starring in the Netflix musical, Vanessa Hudgens has a longstanding history with Larson’s work, previously playing Mimi at a Hollywood Bowl production of Rent after wrapping the High School Musical films in 2010. And in 2019, Hudgens starred in Fox’s live version of the production as Maureen. In Tick, Tick… Boom! she plays a vocalist and colleague of Larson as he workshops one of his musicals. 

As she shared, many people know Rent but Jonathan Larson’s more intimate life and work is not nearly as quoted as “Seasons of Love.” Tick, Tick... Boom! allows a wider audience to become familar with the time between his successful Broadway hit. Sadly, Larson died just shy of seeing Rent become the sensation it was. Through, Tick, Tick… Boom!, Larson discusses the complexities that come with being an artist and also living in the world, where making money and earning a living is often more comfortable. 

Andrew Garfield portrays Jonathan Larson in the movie, and is already receiving early Oscar buzz for the role. Check out Vanessa Hudgens and Garfield sharing the mic for an especially memorable number in the movie called “Therapy”

Tick, Tick… Boom! is the directorial debut for Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda. Last year, shortly after wrapping the film, Hudgens told CinemaBlend that filming the project during the pandemic had its downsides, but Miranda was a ball of energy that set a great tone: 

He walks onto set and he’s doing his step routine, which he would always do and it was the most adorable thing ever. He’d jump and click his heels. He was just so happy and his joy was so exuberant that it really just bled out into all of us and just made the experience all the more beautiful.

You can see Vanessa Hudgens in Tick, Tick… Boom! and the Princess Switch trilogy on Netflix now. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.