Why Did Lin Manuel Miranda Choose Himself as Hamilton?

The seeds for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking musical, “Hamilton,” were sown in 2008 during a vacation when he picked up Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton.

Deeply engrossed in the life story of the Founding Father, Miranda was struck by the parallels between Hamilton’s life and the typical narrative arc of hip-hop artists.

This realization was the first step in his journey to not only write and compose “Hamilton” but also to star in the titular role​​​​.

Personal Connection to Hamilton’s Story

Miranda’s personal background played a significant role in his decision to cast himself as Alexander Hamilton.

Growing up in a Puerto Rican household in upper Manhattan, Miranda was raised in an environment where music, particularly hip-hop, was highly valued.

His experience as an outsider striving for success in a competitive field paralleled Hamilton’s immigrant background and relentless work ethic.

This deep connection to Hamilton’s character, due to their shared experiences of overcoming obstacles as outsiders, likely influenced Miranda’s decision to portray the character himself​​.

The Role of Hip-Hop

Miranda’s long-standing love for hip-hop significantly influenced his portrayal of Alexander Hamilton.

Seeing Hamilton’s life as a quintessential hip-hop narrative – a story of an individual rising from challenging beginnings through the power of words, only to meet a tragic end – Miranda found the perfect blend of historical narrative and contemporary musical style.

This innovative approach allowed him to bring a fresh perspective to the story of a historical figure, making it relevant and relatable to a modern audience​​​​.

Cultural and Artistic Synergy

The cultural and artistic milieu in which Miranda was raised further cemented his decision to take on the role of Hamilton.

His exposure to a variety of musical genres, alongside his experience in theatre and performance, created a unique artistic vision.

This background provided him with the tools to not only write and compose the musical but also to bring Hamilton’s character to life on stage in a way that resonated with a diverse audience.

Conclusion

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s decision to play Alexander Hamilton was a multifaceted one, deeply rooted in personal, cultural, and artistic elements.

His unique background and vision allowed him to create a groundbreaking musical that redefined how historical narratives are told in contemporary theatre.

By casting himself as Hamilton, Miranda not only brought his own experiences and perspectives to the role but also bridged the gap between historical narrative and modern storytelling, making “Hamilton” a relatable and powerful experience for audiences worldwide.

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