“I didn’t need to hear what I meant to her, but I could feel it and it moved me.”
In a recent interview with ET Canada, Mexican-Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o recalls the moment she encountered a young girl in January while she was at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. The young girl only wanted to take a picture with Nyong’o, but as soon as they came face to face, the young girl broke down and started crying. After asking her what was wrong, the girl responded to Nyong’o, “It’s just so nice to meet you.” Although those were the only words she said, Nyong’o could feel how much she meant to that young girl and it meant the world to her.
This is why Nyong’o’s role in the new Marvel film, “Black Panther,” is extremely important to her. Nyong’o explains that not only is her role in this film a game changer for herself, but a game changer for women of color.
What Nyong’o especially admires about “Black Panther” is that everything about the fictitious African nation in the film is inspired and informed by the real African continent. Moreover, Nyong’o expresses, “It’s so inspirational to see the depiction of an African nation that is self-determining, that wasn’t interrupted by the assault that is colonialism.” In particular to women of color, Nyong’o highly appreciates that in the film women are equally as powerful as men and the men are not threatened by their power. Every single person, whether male or female, is able to deliver their absolute full potential, and it’s such an honor for Nyong’o play a role in this.
To see Nyong’o on the big screen, stay tuned for the release of “Black Panther,” set to be played in theaters on February 16th .
As you may have heard, there’s an “In The Heights” movie in the works. The production, produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda and directed by Jon M. Chu, will start shooting later this summer. While they have their main cast in place, they just had a casting call for extras. They specifically said they were looking for Latinos and would be in Washington Heights for the open call. Since they were in the area for the casting call, which is where the movie will be shot as well, the movie’s VIP crew had some time to check in on another important group.
Lin-Manuel Miranda stopped by during a school production of “In The Heights” at George Washington High School in New York and surprised the cast.
“We saw In The Heights in the Heights for the first time, with kids from all over the neighborhood,” Miranda tweeted. “It’s cool I only cried 10 times. These kids were so good. Our future is so bright.”
Jon M. Chu, director of “Crazy Rich Asians,” tweeted the moment when Miranda stepped onstage.
Some of the students were clearly surprised to see Miranda there, although not everyone, and we think we know why. If you watch the clip, Chu shoots the entire audience as well as the cast on stage. There were a lot of special guests in the audience, one of them being Luis A. Miranda, Jr., Lin’s dad. So, we’re not sure how much of this surprise was kept under wraps.
Other special guests included Quiara Alegría Hudes, who wrote the screenplay for the new “In The Heights” movie.
We’re wondering if some of the students will be cast in the new movie. Why not? They need extras and clearly, these kids know a thing or two about the story. Might as well give a chance.
We also loved seeing all the selfies of Miranda with all of the students.
“Love working with you guys. #intheheights #intheheightsmusical,” Rubi Camila Perez Guzman shared on Instagram.
This kind of happiness is the best.
“Words cannot describe how thankful I am to be part of the show In The Heights,” Rebecca said on her social media page. “I got the opportunity to be part of a group of greats actors that are my family now. We worked for almost 4 months on this project and it was all worth it at the end to give this surprise to Lin Manuel Miranda. May 31 will be a night that I’ll never forget.”
What a spectacular night for Miranda, the cast of “In the Heights,” and the students.
“Had such an amazing time working with these amazing talented people,” Alexia Stewart posted on Instagram. “Thank you guys soooo much for accepting me into your family at such short notice. I love you all and I can’t wait till next year when I see you guys again.”
The film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway hit “In the Heights” is scheduled to hit movie theaters in 2020. As expected, many are excited to see Miranda’s acclaimed play come to the big screen after many years of waiting. The musical is based on the lives of young Latino immigrants living in the Washington Heights neighborhood in New York City. The musical left its mark in 2008 by bringing a Tony award-winning play featuring hip-hop to Broadway.
The film has been in production for a few years and we are finally getting a look at who will be starring in the movie. Here’s who we know that will part of the highly anticipated production.
Anthony Ramos will be playing Usnavi de la Vega.
Many might be familiar with Anthony Ramos for his role in Miranda’s other hit musical “Hamilton” and in last years “A Star Is Born.” So it’s no surprise that Ramos will be starring in another musical but this time as the lead role. He’ll be playing Usnavi de la Vega, the owner of a small bodega in Washington Heights. Ramos is of Puerto Rican descent and is engaged to Jasmine Cepha Jones, another “Hamilton” cast member.
Corey Hawkins is bringing Benny to life on the big screen.
Corey Hawkins will be playing the role of Benny, Nina’s Father. Hawkin’s character is notable since it’s the only role that doesn’t speak Spanish in the production. Hawkins made his film debut portraying Dr. Dre in 2015’s “Straight Outta Compton” and will be returning to the big screen once again.
Sonny de la Vega will be played by Gregory Diaz.
He might be just 14-year-old but Gregory Diaz but he’s already well-known on the musical stage. He made his Broadway debut in 2016 on “Matilda” to critical acclaim. He will now tackle the role of Sonny De La Vega, Usnavi’s witty younger cousin. We can expect great things from Diaz as we have already seen.
Melissa Barrera is giving us the Vanessa fans deserve.
Melissa Barrera got her breakout role last year in the hit Starz show “Vida,” that is entering its second season. The Latina actress has also starred in various Mexican novellas but she might have landed her biggest role as Vanessa, Usnavi’s love interest. There’s no doubt Barrera was born to play this role and has the chops to do it justice.
Leslie Grace will be playing Nina Rosario.
Leslie Grace, known for her singing career, is going to be transitioning to the big screen. She’ll be playing Nina Rosario, the first person in her family to go to college and returns home for the summer to let her family know she’s dropped out. Born to Dominican parents and raised in Bronx, New York, Grace was born to play this role and will surely a strong Hollywood debut.
Who else can play Kevin Rosario than Jimmy Smits.
Jimmy Smits will be playing the character of Kevin Rosario, Nina’s overprotective father. He most famously appeared in the “Star Wars” series in the 2000s and has a slew of TV roles. He’s the perfect role for this character and with a strong acting resume like Smits, he’s sure to nail it.
Daphne Rubin-Vega (Daniela)
A veteran of the Broadway stage, Daphne Rubin-Vega will be playing Daniela, the energetic owner of a salon where the girls come to talk. Vega, who is of Panamanian descent, starred in the critically acclaimed musical “RENT’ and also the TV show “Smash.”
Stephanie Beatriz is giving us an energetic and exciting Carla.
Stephanie Beatriz, currently starring in the hit show “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” will be playing the role of Carla, who works at Daniela’s salon. The character works alongside Vanessa and is of Chilean, Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican descent. Beatriz, born in Argentina, has made a name for herself on the TV circuit with a role as Gloria in “Modern Family” as well.
Dascha Polanco is giving Cuca her own twist.
Dascha Polanco starred in the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” as Dayanara “Daya” Diaz. The role got her a lot of notoriety and now she’ll be making her big screen debut as Cuca. The Dominican-American actress is sure to light up the screen as she did on the Netflix series.
Who else could capture the essence of Abuela Claudia than Olga Merediz?
Olga Merediz will be reprising the role of Abuela Claudia as she did on the Broadway stage. Born in Guantánamo, Cuba, Merediz has received a Tony award for her work on “In The Heights” and has a lengthy career in the entertainment industry. This includes roles in “Les Misérables” and in “Mamma Mia!”. We can’t wait for her to reprise this role and bring that character to the big screen next year.