A self made celebrity, one of the most talented musicians and artists, and an incredible performer is Lin Manuel Miranda. Disney knew they were creating the next Oscar movie when they wrote and then casted for Mary Poppins Returns. I am so excited to share the highlights with all of you from my Mary Poppins Returns Interview with Lin Manuel Miranda from when I was in LA last.
Lin entered the room after a day of interviews and press by letting tell us, “You’re the highlight of my day.” As much as we loved interviewing Lin, he truly felt pleased to be interviewed by us bloggers. I wanted to share with all of you the highlights of the interview, but really the entire interview was the highlight!
Lin Manuel Miranda plays Jack the Lamplighter in Mary Poppins Returns. He is the only adult in the movie that still believes int he magic of Mary Poppins. He is whimsical, fun, and filled with heart!
Mary Poppins Returns Interview with Lin Manuel Miranda
Question: It’s been a long time since you professionally performed work other than your own, right? So how did that work for you, doing Mary Poppins Returns?
Lin: “It is the fruit of the harvest. No, honestly, I started writing, I started writing In The Heights because I very quickly realized at age eighteen that no one was gonna write my dream musical. That I did not have the ballet training to play Bernardo in West Side Story. Or Paul in A Chorus Line. And if you’re a Puerto Rican dude that’s all you get. In the cannon. So In The Heights really was the beginning of creating my own opportunities. Hamilton is an extension of that. And then to have Rob Marshall call you and tell you, you know, it’s Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins and you’re the only other person we have in mind and we’re gonna build from there, it felt like the fruit of the harvest. The harvest I began when I was eighteen years old.”
Question: How is it different being in musical theater versus starring in a musical movie production?
Lin: “You finish the eight minute dance number and you wait a year and a half for applause. But honestly, you’re trying to tell the truth on stage and you’re trying to tell the truth in film. The difference is the energy source. Doing eight shows a week is a yoga. You’re gonna hit the same positions every night but you’re gonna hit ’em differently depending on your energy, the audience, you’re fellow performers. And you have two the next day.”
“The energy source in making a film is, especially a film like this, today you’re dancing with penguins. Tomorrow you’re singing with Meryl Streep. Friday you’re shutting down Buckingham Palace with 800 bikers. And you’re not coming back. We’re not going back to the penguins next week. You don’t get two shows a day with Meryl Streep tomorrow. So the adrenaline source becomes this is a once-in-a-lifetime moment and you have to be completely present. And so it just shifts from the audience to the sheer one-of-a-kindness of it.”
Question: Which scene are you most proud of?
Lin shared about his scene and the huge dance number of Trip a Little Light Fantastic. This is also MY favorite song and part of the movie. He talked about how Tommy Kail told him, “You don’t know how to land a joke or sing a note or grow a beard without practice. But man you were born to slide down banisters.” Lin went on and explained, “And then there are moments that represent hours and hours of hard work from the eight minute, continuous dance sequence in Trip A Little Light Fantastic, and Rob ran it as an eight minute dance sequence, you know.”
Question: Do you remember the first time you watched Mary Poppins?
Lin: “I remember seeing the first two-thirds of Mary Poppins. We had the V.H.S. cassette and it was, some of you will remember this. You know, they had their own section in the home library because they were fluffy and white, a little bigger than your shelf. And then I remember turning it off during Feed The Birds. Feed The Birds is the most emotionally devastating melody in the history of cinema. And I was not ready for it as a kid. So I remember crying and turning it off. I didn’t see the end of Mary Poppins ’til I was like in high school because that song was just too sad. It was just too sad for my tender little heart. And so yeah. So I remember the first two-thirds of it on repeat. And then Feed The Birds was like, “Oh, okay, I’m gonna go play.” That was my experience growing up with it.”
Question: How do you feel that you can inspire children, your son, that everything is possible?
Lin: “I was inspired by him. You know, we made this movie just, we started making it right when my son was turning two. He was just gaining language. And, you know, my character really the biggest note Rob Marshall gave me is that all the other grownups forget what it’s like to be a child except for Jack.”
Lin shared a story about Meryl Streep while she was on set.
Lin: “I’ve told this story before but there’s one moment between setups where she just looked at the kids and went, “Hey kids.” I can’t do Meryl. Emily can do Meryl. She goes, “Hey kids, you wanna know how to do a pratfall?” And she went… like from standing to face down. Everyone runs in like, Meryl Streep has died. And she gets up, she goes like this and she goes, “I learned that at Yale School of Drama.” And it was just to show off for the kids. And so I was very grateful that, you know, I was, I got to play with that version of Meryl Streep.”
Also check out the new Mary Poppins Returns Funko Pop Figures! During our interviews I was gift Jack the Lamplighter! Now I need Mary Poppins Funko Pop Figure in my life!
Mary Poppins Returns will be playing in theaters on theaters on December 19th!
In Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” an all new original musical and sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. Emily Blunt stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and Lin-Manuel Miranda plays her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London.