How does a son of an immigrant grow up and create one of the best and most acclaimed musical? By writing and writing like he’s running out of time and not throwing away his shot. Lin-Manuel Miranda shocked and awed the world with Hamilton, a rap musical about one of the U.S. Founding Fathers and first Secretary of the Treasury. Sounds odd at first but what we have is a fascinating story filled with drama, scandal, and music! With amazing songs that fans can sing off the top of their heads and an amazing cast, it’s only a matter of time before it gets the Hollywood treatment and is made into a movie. Even Lin-Manuel Miranda has stated that a film is coming and we just have to “wait for it.” But who should star in the movie? Well in this joint article by J’Neia Stewart and I, will tell you who!
Alexander Hamilton is many things: a writer, a fighter, a lawyer, a singer. Orphaned at a young age, working his way to leave his home in the Caribbean, he moved to New York to be a new man. During the revolutionary war, he proves that he’s ‘worth more than anyone bargained for.’ Working directly under General/President Washington we see how he’s not the best politician. We learn that while he loved his wife, he had an affair and became, I believe, the first scandal in American politics. Later on his eldest son would be killed in a duel and he would meet the same fate by the hand of a former friend. Suffice to say that Hamilton lived an interesting life and it takes a talented man to play him, such as Wilson Jermaine Heredia. An actor best known for his performance in Rent, the film and Broadway production (which won him a Tony). I wanted to keep the same ethnicity for Hamilton and who better than a Tony award winning actor straight from New York.
Apart from Hamilton, Aaron Burr is one of the most iconic characters in Hamilton. In U.S. history, Burr served as the third Vice President of the United States under Thomas Jefferson from 1801-1805. His political career came to a screeching halt, however, after he killed Founding Father and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. In the musical Hamilton, Burr is a figure that Hamilton looks up to at first, though the two later develop a deadly rivalry. Leslie Odom Jr. previously portrayed Aaron Burr, but in a film adaptation of this musical the best person to play him would be This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown. It would be interesting to see him combine his experience in portraying dramatic roles with the experience of being in a musical. – J’Neia Stewart
The Schuyler Sisters are significant in the plot of Hamilton and have quite possibly one of the more interesting histories in relation to Revolutionary America. Angelica Schuyler was the oldest of the Schuyler sisters and was the sister-in-law of Alexander Hamilton after her younger sister Eliza married him. It was rumored that Angelica was carrying on an affair with Alexander Hamilton, though this has never been concretely proven. Peggy Schuyler is the third of the Schuyler sisters and serves a somewhat of a minor character throughout the first act of Hamilton. These three roles were previously filled by Phillipa Soo (Eliza), Renee Elise Goldsberry (Angelica), and Jasmine Cephas Jones (Peggy) respectively. In a live-action adaptation, they would be best portrayed by Constance Wu as Eliza, Janelle Monae as Angelica, and Gina Rodriguez as Peggy. All three of these incredibly talented women would perfect in these roles and it would provide the opportunity for them to lend their previous acting experiences to this amazing musical. -J’Neia Stewart
Lafayette and Jefferson are two incredibly iconic characters and even more iconic figures to U.S. history. Lafayette was a French aristocrat who was a central figure in both the American Revolution as well as the French Revolution. Jefferson was a Founding Father and the primary author of the Declaration of Independence. He served as the second Vice President of the United States under John Adam and went on to serve as President of the United States from 1801 to 1809. In Hamilton, both individuals are portrayed by the same actor: Daveed Diggs. In a film adaptation, Donald Glover would be perfect in these roles. His experience as a rapper and singer, along with his previous roles in Community, Atlanta, and the upcoming live-action reboot of The Lion King indicate Glover’s ability to masterfully balance comedy and drama in a musical. – J’Neia Stewart
George Washington was the leading General during the Revolutionary War and when times were tough, he needed a ‘right hand man’ to help him organize the militia – enter Hamilton who served directly under Washington. When Washington became the Nation’s first president, he appointed Hamilton as Secretary of State. Originally played by Christopher Jackson in the Broadway Production with a strong performance, I believe Jamie Foxx can deliver an equally great performance in the role. He certainly has the vocal range and when he starts to sing, all eyes are on him giving off a strong presence that is needed for Washington.
Philip Hamilton is the eldest son of Alexander and tragically dies in a duel by taking the advice given by his father. John Laurens is one of Hamilton friends during the revolutionary war and was always seen alongside Lafayette and Hercules Mulligan. With the actor of Hamilton being Latino and Eliza being Asian, we thought it’d be best to find an actor with a background in both to play their son. Although the role was played brilliantly by Anthony Ramos, we thought Seb Castro would be a great choice. Castro is a singer and actor who is the right age and has the vocals for the role.
King George is another important character in Hamilton, serving as the villain throughout. In U.S. history, King George is often viewed as a tyrant by the Founding Fathers. Ruling from 1760 to 1820, his reign was witness to many significant historical armed conflicts including but not limited to the conclusion of the Seven Years’ War, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Napoleonic Wars. While Jonathan Groff portrayed him on Broadway, Hugh Jackman would be ideal for a film adaptation. Jackman’s musical experience in Les Miserables, The Greatest Showman, and Happy Feet showcase his versatility in dramatic musical performances. – J’Neia Stewart
So what did you think? Let us know!
Graphics courtesy of Elena Winkel / @LaCheps