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Jimmy Smits Talks Honing His Singing and Dancing Skills For IN THE HEIGHTS

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Smits, best known for his roles in LA Law, NYPD Blue, and the West Wing, plays Kevin Rosario in the film.

Jimmy Smits Talks Honing His Singing and Dancing Skills For IN THE HEIGHTS

The film adaptation of In The Heights is now in theaters and on HBO Max. Jimmy Smits, who plays the role of Kevin Rosario, recently chatted with USA Today about how he prepared for the film.

Smits said that he had to work hard to prepare, despite having just six lines of singing.

"Even for six lines of musical interlude dialogue, there were four vocal coaches on two different coasts," he said. "If you haven't done something since summer stock theater or high school productions, you want to be on point. Especially when you got all those powerhouse voices happening."

Anthony Ramos, who plays Usnavi in the film, said he was impressed by Smits' singing and dancing skills.

"It was like, 'Come on! Hit us with them notes, brother!" Ramos said. "And then he was busting it in the 'Carnaval' scene. Yes sir!"

Smits said that he related to the role, and wanted to make it a compassionate one, not a villain.

"I know how I feel about wanting my children to do better, and maybe putting undo pressure on them sometimes," he said. "I knew what this family was grappling with."

To earn the role, Smits said he put together clips of him singing in everything he could find.

"We were scrambling putting together little video clips of me singing 'Duke of Earl' with Dennis Franz in the squad car or a little song flourish in 'West Wing,' "he said. "It wasn't heavy lifting on the musical thing. But I still had to kind of convince them that I could do it."

Read more on USA Today.

The film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's "In The Heights" is now in theaters and on HBO Max. The creator of "Hamilton" and the director of "Crazy Rich Asians" invite you to a cinematic event, where the streets are made of music and little dreams become big... "In the Heights."

Lights up on Washington Heights...The scent of a cafecito caliente hangs in the air just outside of the 181st Street subway stop, where a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies this vibrant and tight-knit community.

At the intersection of it all is the likeable, magnetic bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who saves every penny from his daily grind as he hopes, imagines and sings about a better life. "In the Heights" fuses Lin-Manuel Miranda's kinetic music and lyrics with director Jon M. Chu's lively and authentic eye for storytelling to capture a world very much of its place, but universal in its experience.

The cast of "In The Heights" features Anthony Ramos, Leslie Grace, Corey Hawkins, Melissa Barrera, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Dascha Polanco, Stephanie Beatriz, Gregory Diaz IV, Olga Meridez, and Jimmy Smits.


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