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Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical Hamilton is currently dominating pop culture, as countless Disney+ subscribers have streamed the filmed stage show. Hamilton was recorded over the course of a week in 2016, before the principal actors began departing their roles for new opportunities. This includes Mindhunter and Frozen star Jonathan Groff, who played King George to hilarious results. When Hamilton was released, Groff went viral for how much spit he projected while singing in his signature British accent. And it turns out that we could have gotten an alternate version where the spit was removed.
Jonathan Groff has had a long career on stage, notably his starring role in Spring Awakening. Hamilton earned the actor a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actor, with every reprise of "You'll Be Back" putting the audience in stitches. That performance has now been immortalized thanks to Disney+'s Hamilton, including Groff's fierce diction... that often results in saliva. It turns out that it could have been edited out for Disney+. As producer Jon Kamen recently explained,
We said don’t worry we can clean that up — they were like ‘No, leave it!'
The theater is about capturing something authentic right in front of your eyes. Jonathan Groff certainly isn't the first Broadway actor to spit while belting out a song, and he won't be the last. And in the end, Disney+ and company decided to leave the spit takes in the final cut of Hamilton. What's more, they might actually add something to the performance.
Jon Kamen's comments to IndieWire help peel back the curtain (or as Burr says, "how the sausage gets made") on Hamilton's road to streaming. While Jonathan Groff quickly went viral for his mouth watering performance as Kind George, it sound like it was also the subject of conversation with the producers. And ultimately they kept it all in, adding an extra level to Groff's performance in the film.
Hamilton is currently streaming exclusively on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
Personally, Jonathan Groff's spit only made me appreciate his Hamilton performance more. You could literally see how hard he was hitting his consonants, especially while using that utterly hilarious Queen's English accent. King George barely moves throughout the show, so there's no way for Groff to wipe the spittle away while staying in character. What's more, the juxtaposition between his Royal attitude and penchant for spitting is utterly delightful.
It's no wonder that Jonathan Groff was nominated for a Tony for his performance in Hamilton. That year Lin-Manuel Miranda's show dominated the ceremony, with Groff competing against George Washington aka Christopher Jackson and Lafayette/Jefferson actor Daveed Diggs. Diggs would end up taking the trophy home, which was still a victory for Hamilton in the end.
Jonathan Groff's star power will only continue to grow thanks to Hamilton, as well as his upcoming role in The Matrix 4. Additionally, fans are hoping that Mindhunter returns to Netflix for Season 3. And there's always the hopes of a third Frozen movie sometime in the future.
Hamilton is currently streaming in its entirety on Disney+. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.