A Minute With: Lin-Manuel Mi­randa on 'Moana' and 'Mary Pop­pins'

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Award-win­ning "Hamil­ton" mu­si­cal cre­ator Lin-Manuel Mi­randa swaps the pol­i­tics of 18th cen­tury Wash­ing­ton for the charms of Poly­ne­sia in the Dis­ney an­i­mated movie "Moana." Mi­randa, 36, worked with mu­si­cians from the South Pa­cific to create orig­i­nal songs for the movie about a plucky teenage girl who sets sail on an epic jour­ney to help save her tribe. Mi­randa spoke with Reuters about "Moana," which opens in US movie the­aters on Wed­nes­day, and his work as an ac­tor on the up­com­ing "Mary Pop­pins" movie se­quel.

The in­ter­view took place be­fore Fri­day's per­for­mance of "Hamil­ton" in New York at which US Vice Pres­i­dent-elect Mike Pence was booed by some in the au­di­ence and the cast of the play - with Mi­randa's sup­port - urged Pence to "work on be­half of all of us." Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump said the cast owed Pence an apol­ogy.

Fol­low­ing are edited ex­cerpts of the Mi­randa in­ter­view.

Q: What were you ea­ger to cap­ture of the Pa­cific Is­land com­mu­nity when you were work­ing with Samoan-born mu­si­cian Opetaia Foa'i and his band Te Vaka?

A: We all went into this keenly aware that this is a part of the world that isn't rep­re­sented on screen very much so you want the peo­ple who live there to see the movie and say hey, that's us, and with pride. Opetaia took the lead on the rhythms and har­monies ... I'm Gin­ger Rogers - he leads the dance and I write lyrics, I write melodies.

Q: Which was your fa­vorite song?

A: The one that rep­re­sents our col­lab­o­ra­tion the best is "We Know The Way." We started writ­ing that the week­end we met. We met in New Zealand (and) we went to this Paci­fica mu­sic fes­ti­val where we heard choirs from all over the dif­fer­ent is­lands.

Q: How has life been post-"Hamil­ton?"

A: I love the sub­way in New York. I think it's a na­tional trea­sure. I did a lot of writ­ing on the train. For a while, I couldn't take the train with­out some­one sit­ting next to me and talk­ing to me ... (Now) I'm work­ing on a movie in Lon­don. I can walk around with my son (and) it's not a big deal, so it's nice to have that back.

Q: Speak­ing of "Mary Pop­pins," what can you tell us about your char­ac­ter Jack? Will we be hear­ing a Cock­ney ac­cent?

A: You're go­ing to hear the worst ac­cent you've ever heard in your life! You're not go­ing to know what coun­try I'm from. It's go­ing to sound like I came from an­other planet!

Q: You've worked on "Star Wars" mu­sic for "The Force Awak­ens" and you're in­volved in Dis­ney's princess world with "Moana" and "Lit­tle Mer­maid." Any Marvel comic char­ac­ters?

A: I'm a Marvel buff. I grew up read­ing those comic books. If they ever do a "Max­i­mum Car­nage" sto­ry­line, I want dibs on Car­nage. — Reuters

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