If you haven't heard of the musical theater genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda, you probably haven't been paying attention to the world of Broadway over the past year. Miranda is a history-making musical theater writer and actor who is the mastermind behind the biggest Broadway hit in years: Hamilton. The hip hop musical which chronicles the life of American founding father Alexander Hamilton won a ton of awards this season, and getting tickets for the show is nearly impossible, with the cheapest tickets being over $800.
So who is this dude who managed to create such a massively successful Broadway musical, and has the type of brain to fuse American history and rap? It turns out he's a pretty interesting and unbelievable person. Here are some facts about the actor/writer that you might not necessarily know.
He Co-Wrote The Cantina Song In The Force Awakens
Lin-Manuel Miranda's talents don't exclusively reach the Broadway stage. In fact, he had a part to play in J.J. Abrams' triumphant Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Miranda wrote the new cantina song, which was heard when Han Solo, Rey, and Finn enter Maz Kanata's castle in Takodana. Miranda got the job after J.J. Abrams saw a performance of Hamilton, and got to meet the cast afterward. The Broadway composer reportedly offered to write a new cantina song, being a fan of the original one from A New Hope. J.J. Abrams ended up taking him up on this offer, and the two composed and sang the track together. In fact, Abrams would eventually perform the song live outside of Hamilton's theater alongside Lin-Manuel.
It Took Him A Year To Write One Song For Hamilton
It may look like Lin-Manuel Miranda has it made in the shade at the moment, but it wasn't always the case. Miranda began developing Hamilton starting in 2008, after reading Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton, aptly titled Alexander Hamilton. Miranda started simply writing a rap about the Founding Father's life, which he eventually performed for the 2009 White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word. He would then continue to write more songs for the future Broadway hit, which would eventually premiere Off-Broadway at the Public Theater in 2015. While developing a musical is usually a long process, Miranda has stated that it took him over a year to write the showstopper "My Shot", as he continued to rewrite and revise the song to properly reflect Hamilton's intellect and vocabulary.
He's Starring Opposite Emily Blunt In Mary Poppins Returns
While Lin-Manuel Miranda has made a few film appearances before, he's going to become a certified movie star in the near future. Miranda was recently cast in Disney's sequel to the classic Julie Andrews movie Mary Poppins, and Miranda scored a leading role, opposite Emily Blunt's take on Mary. Lin-Manuel will be playing the role of Jack, who will be a similar character to Dick Van Dyke's iconic role Bert. Like Bert, Miranda's role will be that of a chimney sweep who seems to have some preexisting relationship with the titular practically perfect nanny. So while many people might not know Lin-Manuel by name, they certainly will when Mary Poppins Returns flies into theaters.
Disney must love Lin-Manuel Miranda, and it appears that the feelings are mutual.