Lin-Manuel Miranda on the strong Irish connection to his new movie In The Heights
One of the first showings of the Pulitzer Prize winner's first hit show was in Waterford. But not THAT Waterford...
It isn't every day you find yourself interviewing not one but TWO Pulitzer Prize-winners, at the same time no less!
But that is exactly the situation that we found ourselves in recently, as we spoke to Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes about their new movie In The Heights.
Most will people will know Miranda from his massively-loved creation Hamilton, while Hudes won her Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Water by the Spoonful.
The pair teamed up to create the hit Broadway musical In The Heights and both are also involved in the big screen adaptation. Hudes provides the screenplay and Miranda the songs, while both also remained producers on the movie.
We were lucky enough to catch up with them both in the run-up to the movie's release, and you can check out that interview in full right here:
As we chatted, we had to bring up an interesting tidbit we discovered while researching the movie, that the play had one of its very first showings in a town in Connecticut called... Waterford! It turns out that the American town was named after emigrants who had left Waterford in Ireland, so we had to mention that Irish connection to them both.
Hudes responded first: "It did have an appearance in Waterford, which is The O'Neill, so we did a workshop in a barn in Waterford."
Miranda then followed up: "Yes, in Eugene O'Neill's old estate, that is where we worked on this for two weeks. You don't have to go that far for it! Washington Heights was an Irish immigrant neighbourhood, many years before it became a largely Latino neighbourhood. In fact, in the show version, in the stage version, they would take down the Rosario sign and you would see O'Hanrahan's Taxi Service underneath it. So we pay our respect to the immigrants who came before us."
Hudes then confirms that nod towards the Heights' Irish heritage is also on the big screen: "It's in the film version, too. They show a business card of O'Hanrahan's."
In The Heights is released in Irish cinemas on Friday, 18 June, and we also chatted to the movie's director and some of its stars, and you can check out all of those interviews right here.