In The Heights: Yes, Lin-Manuel Miranda Snuck His Parents Into One Beloved Song

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While Lin-Manuel Miranda’s name is synonymous with his blockbuster Broadway musical Hamilton, it’s not the first story he brought to the great white way. Miranda broke new ground with his first musical In the Heights, which was recently adapted into a film by Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu. And it turns out that Miranda totally snuck his parents into one beloved song in the movie.

Given how much of a wild success Lin-Manuel Miranda has become, the general public has also been privy to his background and relationship with his parents. So when I got the chance to speak with Miranda about In the Heights, I asked if I was right when spotting his parents in Nina’s big solo “Breathe.” As seen in our conversation above, Miranda admitted to getting his parents an A+ cameo, saying:

That’s the moment that I think causes the most unintentional laughter in the MIranda household. Because it's such a beautiful, poignant, somber song. And then here come my parents galumping up, ‘Welcome home!’ I wasn’t there on set that day. I’m very grateful I wasn’t because I think my mom struggles musically a bit. And my dad was like ‘C’mon, honey this is our shot!’ So I’m glad I avoided that drama on set. But John said they were very well behaved.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and family stay delightful. And while poking fun at his parents and their musical ability, hardcore fans will delight in seeing Luis and Luz on the big screen for In the Heights. Plus, they even get a line to sing. Although Lin didn’t want to be on set the day said sequence was captured.

Lin Manuel's parents in In the Heights

In the Heights is currently available for a limited time on HBO Max, in addition to theaters. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Since In the Heights was Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first musical, it no doubt means a great deal to the accomplished multihyphenate. The show is a love letter to the titular New York neighborhood, and the various Latino communities that make it up. And seeing Miranda’s parents appear further shows the reverence he has for his roots.

The song in question comes early in the runtime of In the Heights, featuring Leslie Grace’s stunning vocals as Nina. In it she reflects on the pressures of being away from her community while in college and grappling with everyone’s expectations. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s parents appear briefly, so you’ll have to be on their guard to catch that moment.

In the Heights is currently available in theaters and on HBO Max. Be sure to check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.