Mary Poppins Returns star Lin-Manuel Miranda drew some sweet inspiration for his feature film debut in the Disney movie co-starring Emily Blunt, and it’s not who you think!
The creator of Broadway’s Hamilton and In the Heights has been longing to focus solely on acting for several years and was thrilled that his debut was in a family film suitable for all ages.
Playbill reported that the multi-talented triple threat revealed he drew from the wonder of his own son to portray his role in Mary Poppins Returns.
“My biggest piece of research was my 2-year-old son,” Miranda confessed to Playbill.
“What we know about Jack is he’s the only adult who remembers the childhood adventures of Mary Poppins. He’s the same age as the Banks kids—he’s shining shoes outside while they’re up at Cherry Tree Lane. My biggest research assistant was my own son, who is coming into his own imagination as he grows up, and tapping into that.”
Miranda found peace in only worrying about the acting portion of the film and coming from a creative person who always had his hands in every aspect of his creations, it was a welcome break.
“In the Heights represents me sort of trying to make my way into this world I love so much, so to go from that and Hamilton to be offered a role like this, it feels like the fruit of that harvest,” he said to Playbill.
Miranda plays Jack, a “leery” in London, also known as a lamplighter.
Miranda sees Jack as a sort of protege of the original Mary Poppins‘ Bert, played by Dick Van Dyke.
“All the best things I learned about making theater apply to film,” he said of what he discovered from Mary Poppins director Rob Marshall.
“That was an enormous gratification for my creative process. We had nine weeks of rehearsals of this movie, we were a company making a movie. I will bring that to my next project, Tick, Tick Boom!,” he continued.
“Rob [Marshall] always lets the best idea in the room win. He just believes he can do anything and makes you believe you can do anything,” concluded Miranda of his experience on the film.
Lin-Manuel Miranda will next make his directorial debut in Boom, authored by Rent’s Jonathan Larson.
Miranda once starred in the off-Broadway production of Tick, Tick…Boom!, which is based on the autobiographical musical by Larson.
Deadline reported that Dear Evan Hansen book writer Steven Levenson is on board to write the screen adaptation. Miranda will produce alongside Imagine chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, along with Imagine’s Julie Oh.
Larson’s sister Julie will be executive producer of the project.