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BWW Interview: Phillipa Soo Explains Why She Hopes HAMILTON Will Inspire Political Action

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BWW Interview: Phillipa Soo Explains Why She Hopes HAMILTON Will Inspire Political ActionThe #Hamilcountdown continues! As the world gets ready to experience the phenomenon that is Hamilton from their homes, BroadwayWorld is checking in with its stars ahead of the release on Disney+.

Not sure how to tune in on July 3rd? Let BroadwayWorld be your guide!

Today's guest will leave you feeling helplessly obsessed with Eliza Hamilton all over again. Richard Ridge chats with Phillipa Soo about what she hopes young audiences will take from the experience and how she hopes it inspires viewers to take political action!


How excited are you that Hamilton was filmed?

So excited! I watched it for the first time last night and I was blown away at the level of talent that I was surrounded by for those two plus years working on that show. It was so beautiful.

What were those nights like when you filmed it? The electricity, the audience. What was that like knowing that this was gonna be captured on film?

I think everybody wanted to be on their best game, but we had been doing it for 500 plus times at that point. We had just done the show so many times and it really lived within us, so I think in a way it was super freeing, because all I had to do was show up and let the story guide me and watch all the beautiful people I'm surrounded with guide me. It actually made it very easy in that way. It's probably the most rehearsed film that's ever been made.

What does it mean to you that Hamilton will be reaching such a wide audience?

I'm definitely excited for more people to have access to the film, especially because Broadway tickets are really expensive. So for someone who might not have been able to afford coming to New York or spending money on a ticket, it gives people a chance to really see the beauty of this piece and the beauty of what Lin has created. And I'm also excited for young people, and young people of color to watch this and think, "Wow, I can actually see myself up there! And not only that, but I think that I can try and do that too!" So I hope it inspires people in that way.

How do you feel about Hamilton streaming vs movie theaters?

Now we can see how art has become so important to us because we can't go out to see a show or to go to a concert. So what we have on streaming has become so important to us. It's how we can have these cathartic experiences and find empathy through the storytelling of these streaming platforms. But I think it also makes us realize the need to gather. Yes, we have access to all this stuff, but there is something special and magical to be able to gather in a space and sit next to a stranger in a theatre and the lights go dark. You have an emotional experience together. I don't think that you can find that anywhere else. At least for myself, I will not ever take for granted again the ability that we have in this beautiful city and in this beautiful community to go and support the artists that we can, but also call our friends and be in a room with bodies and experience something together.

How has Hamilton changed your life and the way you look at life?

Everything. I think no matter what, I'll always be harkening back to my experience with Hamilton. It's not just about he standard and how high the bar is set in terms of how hard I work and who I hope to surround myself within this business, but also the amount of joy that I would strive to experience in any given project.

BWW Interview: Phillipa Soo Explains Why She Hopes HAMILTON Will Inspire Political Action

You started to talk about this. How do you hope it will change the lives of people who will see the Hamilton on film?

I hope that it gives people some inspiration, especially now. Especially when we're all called to do better, whether that means to be more vocal and more active or to be more open and to listen more. I hope that it inspires people to vote, to register to vote on a very basic level, and if not that, then to maybe work on getting a hold of their representatives and work on legislation and write like Hamilton did. And more than that, maybe to run! If you feel like you're a leader and you have something to say and you can guide people in a community, run for office! Even at a local level. I have been aware since Hamilton started of what it means to not only be an artist, but to also be a citizen in this world. Especially now, now that we don't have the ability to gather and make theatre, how can I, as a human, do my part?

It's more relevant now than we saw it at The Public or when it moved uptown to the Richard Rodgers...

Yeah, I think it showed us in that time what we want our country to be and I think now we can see how far we are and have been from that. I think it's revealing and I think right now as a country we're going through this collective grief and sorrow. At least for myself, I've learned that imperfect parts of our history are really the ones that we have to come face to face with and be willing to tackle and fight against and that the work doesn't stop. There isn't some perfect check box like, "Oh yeah, this happened in history and we've moved onto the next thing." I think we really have to constantly work at it. I hope that people are able to get out their rage and their sorrow at this time, and I also hope that people are able to be reinvigorated in their desire to participate in what it means to be in this country.

At what point during the process did you realize how life-changing this musical Hamilton was going to be?

The first time I ever heard the music. The first time I got to hear what this "Hamilton Mixtape" was going to be. And from there, it just sort of grew and grew and grew. From the first moment we all heard the show together to the first moment that I heard Eliza's song at the end and that she was going to end the show.... From the first moment that we stepped into The Public, to the first moment that we stepped into the Richard Rodgers. It sort of kept growing and growing on me.

But I will say the whole time I was checking myself to stay present- to be in the moment and also take in how large this all was. When I'm in it, I don't have the ability to see how wide and how broad this is actually reaching. And I'm continuing to this day to see how it is impacting people and impacting my life.

What was it like for you and Steven [Pasquale] to sit there and finally see it on film? What did it mean to the two of you?

Well, he and I just kept saying, "Oh my gosh this is amazing!" I loved looking at this performance and commenting on all of our friends and how beautiful their craft is and the amount of work that goes into making something look so easy. And also we were commenting the entire time on what Tommy [Kail] has put together. What he has captured and edited together... The storytelling is just so next-level. You think, "Ok, I've seen the stage version, I've heard the album." But this is just the next level of how you can experience the show.


Sign up for Disney+ today for your chance to catch Leslie and even more of the original cast of Broadway's biggest hit from home on July 3!


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