Lin-Manuel Miranda wants to keep directing movies, but don’t look for him to do any large-scale spectacle.
“My responsibility as a director — and I really hope to make more movies — is to make weird little musicals that no one else can do,” he told Rosie Perez during an appearance Tuesday at the Tribeca Festival. His directorial debut in 2021, tick … tick … BOOM!it was “a really nice size for me,” he said Hamilton said the creator. “I really like working with actors. I really enjoy unlocking music stories and that’s the fun part.”
Miranda claimed that he would “never attempt” something so luxurious as Wicked, Universal’s upcoming adaptation of the long-running Broadway play. Jon M. Chu, friend and director of the film adaptation of Miranda In the Heights, “is going to do something amazing and I can’t wait to see it,” he said. “I want to direct great little musicals that no one else would make into movies.”
The hour-long entry in the Tribeca fest Storytellers series managed not to touch on any current events, instead focusing on Miranda’s craft, upbringing and influences. The WGA strike did not come up as a topic. Neither did Miranda’s appearance at last Sunday’s Tony Awards, even though they were held at his neighborhood’s United Palace, which he and his family helped restore.
While Perez mostly answered questions, the tables were briefly turned as the actress described her roots as a choreographer, as well as a fun backstage meeting between LL Cool J and Keenan Ivory Wayans. The moment came as she prepared to leave LL Cool J’s tour and begin work on Wayans’ groundbreaking Fox series With vivid colorsher discovery of show business.
The audience was enthralled as Perez elicited alternately playful and thoughtful responses from Miranda, including when she asked him what he wanted to do next. He cited the significant impact of Stephen Sondheim’s death in November 2021 at the age of 91, noting that the Broadway legend is “over.” tick … tick … BOOM!” both in inspiration and as a character played by Bradley Whitford. Miranda also included Sondheim’s voice leaving a voicemail for Jonathan Larson, the late music creator portrayed by Andrew Garfield.
After Sondheim’s death, Miranda recalled “this instruction loud and clear from either God or Sondheim: ‘Get back to the piano. Go back to writing.’ …The goal is to be able to look back and say, ‘I did this, I did this, and I did this.’ I want to take from me as much as is in me. … Sondheim was in his 90s and still doesn’t seem to have enough time.”
Acting in movies, which Miranda did Mary Poppins Returns AND In the Heightsit allowed him to learn more about the core of production, but performance isn’t likely to be a focus in the near term, he said.
Collaboration motivates Miranda, he said, as opposed to anything that requires a solitary existence. “Putting more people in the room when you’re still cooking up a movie just creates more ideas in the pot. “I can’t imagine writing something and directing it,” Miranda said. “I will never write a memoir. I will never write a book. I would feel alone a lot of the time. … Writing is difficult because you have to be alone. You have to marinate, dream and take long walks. But if you’re writing a musical, you have to take it to someone else.”