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tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  April 12, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. charlie: the second liberian civil war which claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. it clips focuses on the lives of five liberian women living through that -- eclipse focuses on the lives of five liberian women living through that struggle. made broadway history earlier this year, becoming the first production to feature an
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, andemale cast, director playwright. joining me now are the stars, lupita nyong'o, the writer, deny - danaia d - gurrira, and the director. what is the connection to the play that was put on in 2009? i: it is the same play. and out of some amazing synchronicity, lou peter -- yell atas walking in to the time. at the yell school of drama, you yet -- yale school of
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drama, you get assigned to understudy, and that is the first show i was assigned. we had worked on it before we got to jail and done rigorous work with the script. le and done rigorous work with the script. charlie: what were you creating in your own mind? what is the story? thehe big picture story was story about how human beings survive under untenable .ituations charlie: and what it is within them that enables them to survive. >> and what is it in each individual that makes their path different from someone else's path. circumstances are similar. in your living under war and
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oppression, but every single play makes ahe different decision. you are going to make a different decision no matter where you are from. towill all do what it takes survive. charlie: you chose not to act even though you have a highly publicized acting career. why did you choose not to put yourself in it? i wanted to give african women opportunities. there is a dearth i saw around me all the time. i did co-perform in my first play. this was the next thing i wrote. it was very clear to me i wanted to be outside of it. i wanted to have the outside i
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and take care of the world of the self. if i am performing, my brain is working on a leather way because i am focused on the arc of the character, but if -- on a whole other way because i am focused on the ark of the character, but if i am creating a cohesive world. it was very important to me, actually, that this play was where i step into being that other type of playwright, the playwright who doesn't perform and who hands it over to withrmers you have worked to allow them to let it blossom and gloom. charlie: -- bloom. charlie: was it your decision to have an only female cast? danai: of course it was. i created it. charlie: i thought it might be a group decision. you created it. you have a commander there, that his presence is not seen. danai: what compelled me to
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create the play was the idea that i could not see the stories of women and more on the continent or anywhere. there were many stories about men. i could name tons of warlords. we all know who charles taylor is. i could name all of them, but i could not name the women i can now name. i could not name them until i went to liberia and said i am going to learn your stories so that i can tell them to the world. charlie: this story is as timely as today at this moment. danai: unfortunately, with what is happening in syria. charlie: and bo boko haram and what they are doing. danai: totally. we are coming up on two years this week of those girls being taken. charlie: who is the girl? lupita: the girl is new to this world are for. she has just recently been exposed, lost a parent, and she
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comes to this compound to learn what it means to be a woman at war. she starts off with a lot of agency and goes on to immediately lose it, and her journey is one of trying to get back or agency in trying to find herself again. charlie: and she's different from the other women in the play. lupita: she's er she is somewhat educated as well. she until recently new exactly where her parents were. charlie: and they want to protect her. lupita: they do want to protect her. well, one in particular, the matriarch of this compound, wants to protect her from what the war can do to a woman in to her body, but unfortunately, very soon when the play starts, she is unable to do that. the new yorktold
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times, what attracted me to both projects was the agency of those characters. at first glance, they looked like victims, but the writing offers them complexity. what you two have done. this is what you have brought. you have given humanity to people we did not know. you have given a sense that they are real, and human, and while they are suffering. up on theing grown continent, as we'll did, coming to the united states for me was very, very front -- as we all coming to the united states was for me, well, for all verye there he disheartening to see how african-americans are portrayed
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in the west. it is very statistical. for me as a writer, it is always a goal to create characters swear, you might see this girl as a victim because -- where, you might see this girl is a victim because that's what you see on the news, but i am going to give you two hours to experience her sorrow and joy so that you cannot ever call her the other again. she has strengthened potential, which is what is behind the title. the idea of being eclipsed is that you are blocking light, but the light is still there. the hope is that the block is temporary. charlie: what is the challenge of the director? liesl: there is no challenge, just joy. charlie: they did not need you? liesl: no, the challenge is, for , it is, it was the relentless , never of specificity
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stopping the research so that the actors, when they step on to that stage, they are bringing a broken heart for this country, for its history, for the political history. they are inhabiting the lives of these women and this particular war in this particular place. not a general african story, but the story of liberia in this window in time. and also creating a healthy environment for these women to goa's far as we wanted them to go emotionally and be able to walk away -- go as far as we wanted them to emotionally and be able to walk away. charlie: how did you get there? liesl: torture. charlie: were you tortured? lupita: i wouldn't call it that. iesl creates an
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environment of pursuing your best at all times. the bar is high. because the bar is so high, you are challenged to meet that bar. that is what was so riveting about being in that rehearsal room. there was never a day when we were just pacing it out. every moment was a chance to discover something new, to ask questions, to explore. it was very exciting and also exhausting. what she does is really the thing that is so crucial to this play. you have to find a space where you are vulnerable, but you also have to be pushed to the edge and allow this environment to be quite dangerous and alive. liesl creates a situation where she does not let people off the hook. she does challenge them. but she does allow them to feel very safe. charlie: have things changed since 2011? because i havee
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grown as a director and become more sophisticated. i think the design elements are -- everything is sharper. charlie: and more precise. liesl: yes. always precise. charlie: this is what you said. you said i think both the walking dead and eclipsed ultimately asked the same question. who would you be if the world got this dire? danai: what i really want people to walk away from as they leave the theater is the concept of not being able to judge. a lot of times when you function as an african in the west, you have people coming up to you and throwing you horrible thoughts about what they are hearing about africa. the context is not actually something they are taking into account. they are taking threads of a headline or something
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sensationalized. if you are in this war, you become someone different from who you are today. there is no way you will be who you were when things were stable, everything works right and you can dial 911. charlie: what you become? the question and that is why there are five different women on the stage who represent five very different types of responses. they all are coping differently, navigating differently, pursuing their power differently. liesl: preserving themselves. charlie: what is different? liesl: their power is their ability to stay alive. their they are choosing life. they are choosing to live and stay alive. that is something i find frustrating when i see how africans are depicted in media and narrative. you don't see them make choices. you don't see them have any sort , ornner drive or strength
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perspective, or idiosyncrasy. you just see them kind of be one or two dimensional victims. we are working against that by allowing this character to have personality and to respond differently to the exact same circumstances. you believe you are changing and other things are changing -- whether it is hamilton or other place on broadway -- changing the perception of africans and african americans and their role in history? yes, im cannot say doing that, but i can say i hope so. i hope i am contributing to that. charlie: they call it the chocolate block. danai: why not? charlie: that was pascal lamont. liesl: of course it was. charlie: what he say that? -- why do you say that? show, if you see the
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there is so much humor and life, and she is the source of a lot of shenanigans. danai: it's an exciting moment. and what sheupita: has accomplished in a short amount of time, it's unprecedented. and it something i hope will keep happening. charlie: you have been the seized with offers. there is a huge amount of attention to you in fashion, commercials. why this role? even though you had a connection to it way back at yale in 2009. lupita: it's a role that never left me. bring this and danai: was in at yale, and i all. one of the things i had been warned about coming to drama school in the united states, , was howlly yale
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eurocentric my program would be. and the first thing that gets offered to me takes place in africa. exists at theanai same time i do and that she is telling the stories that are complex, compelling, that open this country to the world -- i didn't know anything about liberia myself. fromow much i have learned the emotional experience of seeing her play, i thought it was a blessing, and i wanted to share it with a larger world. i remember promising myself that i would somehow, someday do it. so, when 12 years a slave happened and my life went into like, accelerated, i sat with myself and thought, what do i want to do next? and eclipsed just kept coming back to me. about telling a story on stage that is so powerful, i
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needed to get back there to remind myself what is it that i do and how is it that i have gotten to this place, and what can i do to get this story out there? charlie: what is different between the public and broadway? liesl: i think the public was a smaller space and the golden is a much bigger house. in a way, we opened up the story. it's funnier. we worked with actresses to make it more accessible in some ways to not downtown audiences. but you have a chance to experience the story in a more epic way because we have more physical space. charlie: a more epic way. so it's not just about these women in a compound. you get a sense of breadth. danai: from my perspective, the
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show feels more dangerous because there is more room for you to fill as an actor. and because there are more people in the room, you have to work that much harder to get them all on the same page with you. like, for me, my performance had to break open. it was no longer the intimacy of the little sigh on the the audience. now i have to work to reach them and get them to reach me. charlie: what happens on june 20? doesn't it close on june 19? liesl: the actors go on a long vacation. because they do work extremely hard. charlie: you start a new movie after that? lupita: please. danai: i will require a vacation. i will --
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danai: i will probably be in atlanta. good as that is and is popular as that is, my sense of you is that you would not be satisfied with that as your primary, total creative endeavor. danai: at the end of the day, im a storyteller and i love telling stories in any way i can. the walking dead is not something i took randomly. i looked at the story, i looked at the character, i looked at the world, i watched what they had already done on the screen and i was deeply interested and desirous of becoming part of it. the funny thing, the ironic thing i have said a few times is that there was this interesting parallel between that character and one of the characters i created in this play. lupita's character, but another character who is a woman soldier, who makes her self her
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own weapon to combat this hostile environment. across this character after i had written it, i said, what is this? this looks like my character. when i say it's the same premise, i do feel it's a very rich story i get to calibrate every week on television. it is something deeply, deeply, deeply dear to me, as are the plays i write, as are all my children. charlie: where are you going? liesl: i am working on a project for disney right now in california? -- in california. charlie: a movie? no, an adaptation of frozen. charlie: i heard about that. liesl: so that is the next big project. charlie: i have not seen it yet, but ilipsed look forward to coming before june 19.
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danai: you must. you must see what lupita does because it is completely special. thelie: eclipsed is at golden the other until june 19. back in a moment -- golden theater until june 19. go see it. back in a moment.
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charlie: you know, to sit here on this stage at the richard
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rodgers theatre, what does it mean to you? >> these are hallowed places, these theater houses. guys and dolls spring near here. premiered here. 46thit was called the street theatre. i am aware of the ghosts and the history. my broadway debut was on this stage. theit was amazing to do show for the first time here and , i wait, i know this house have been here before. haveo stage the story i spent my life working on -- as you can see, it is a steep rake. i can look people in the eye 14
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rows back. paradoxically, even though the public was smaller, this feels more intimate to me. charlie: and you had a chance to choose where you would go. lin-manuel: yes, this was our dream theater, and it luckily opened up right before we came in. hasn't sunk in what happening to you, what happening in what iss it sunk happening to you, what is happening to theater, what is happening to hamilton? lin-manuel: i'm talking to charlie rose. it's really surreal. but we really haven't stopped. the moment we opened, we started recording the cast album, and atlantic has been very generous in terms of -- we are taking two weeks to record. most cast albums get recorded in a day. we took our time to really get it right. my colleagues are mastering it as we speak. we have been going full bore --
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there has always been something to occupy our time, so i have not really had a break since we opened. really have not had time to reflect. lin-manuel: not really. that's also what twitter is. it's as close to a diary as -- can you believe this happened? charlie: against in the audience today -- the president of the united states. lin-manuel: as our sixth preview. the vice president of the united states. lin-manuel: it's amazing. you have a dream version of what will happen if something goes well, and it has put my dreams to shame. it is huge. beyond. and whener humbling, you look at the list of names who have come to see the show, i see those as an opportunity to
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see the show with fresh eyes as i am doing it. sits in theeney audience, i wonder what he is hearing when he hears the lyric, "history has its eyes on you." sittingresident is here, what does he think about george washington saying i have to step down so the country can move on, as he comes to the end of his term? them in theyou look eye? do you let them know i see you? lin-manuel: if i can spot them. if i can spot them, i sure do. -- gosh, who did we have? we had common here, one a my favorite. when we started 10 new commandments, i looked right at him. i said someone is going to get this reference. it's going to be common. we have such a love of hip-hop.
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a reference to a musical. at the end of the reynolds affair, he says nobody needs to know. when robert jason brown came to right at him.oked he kindly gave me permission to use that song and that reference in the show. it's a treat when there are people who appreciate it in the audience. charlie: but it's not only good acting and good music. people are saying it's transformative. lin-manuel: that's interesting to me. it has certainly changed my life. but i think that's because when great people cross our past -- and i am about hamilton here -- it forces us to reckon with what we are doing with our lives. create oure was to financial system from scratch. -- when ind build
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consider that he was creating our financial system from scratch. charlie: in building a country. lin-manuel: right. i'm not doing anything. shownk people leave the thinking about who we leave behind. charlie: and about their history, their country. lin-manuel: absolutely. charlie: and it gives them a new sense of what? , the genius that came to build a nation? genius, butthe also, i think we take great pains to knock all these guys off their pedestal. charlie: you do. this is washington, impatient and yelling, are these the men with which i am to defend america? that's a quote. this is jefferson and hamilton squabbling.
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i think we are heartened by that because these guys did not get -- get tablets and stones from a mountain top. they compromised. they made mistakes. it's an important reminder that they were as human as us. charlie: and they had no playbook. lin-manuel: they had models they were looking to. charlie: jefferson especially was inspired by the french. lin-manuel: and hamilton was inspired by the british financial system. and that turned into a fight. you are trying to bring back the monarchy. you are assessed with bloodshed and revolution. they arenice to know flawed, because our country is flawed, and we are flawed. as we take more steps to the more perfect union -- what a beautiful phrase that is. charlie: and like writing a great song, it doesn't happen overnight. lin-manuel: no, and we are still struggling with it. i think the audience takes away a sense of we have always been
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making it up as we go along. for them to see themselves in the founding fathers is both charlie: why does it resonate for all the reasons we talked about, but sitting out there, what are you feeling? why does it touch you so much more than anything anybody else can prove? not just critics were famous or famous people, real people. lin-manuel: most of that is the work. these are words on the page. charlie: the words on the page. lin-manuel: there are a lot of steps to put words on the page. onmy, he has kept his eye everything and created an unbelievably unified production
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where everybody is marching in the same direction. and created those moments we talked about where you are chasing that moment where you are both watching something and cannot believe you are watching it. tommy created a bunch of those moments in the show. he gets the credit for that because it is a lot of elements coming together to make that happen. i think the force of hamilton's life which is this whirlwind through the life of everybody he touched now extends to the audience. now, he has touched your life too instead of my life. we see where he started and where he got and where he fell. it is impossible not to be moved by that kind of story. we all aspire to do great things. charlie: do you ever imagine what might have been if he didn't take that bullet? lin-manuel: yeah, well, you know, you studied the brain with world-renowned experts and spoke to scientists so you know there is the theory of the
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multi-verse. there is the universe in which hamilton lived until his 90's and our country looked very different. charlie: why do you go on a vacation, stop and see a book that changes your life? lin-manuel: pretty lucky. luck is a big part of this, too. charlie: always is. luck and timing. lin-manuel: i knew that hamilton -- this is what i knew from high school -- hamilton died in a duel with the vice president. i knew his son died in a duel. i wrote a paper about it for 11th grade social studies. i kind ofwas -- wanted to know is my said going into the duel. also, i read the incredible reviews on the book. i said this will be a good
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version of this story. but, really, i was browsing the biography section. it could have been truman. ♪
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charlie: the idea of hip-hop came at what moment? lin-manuel: when he wrote the poem. charlie: you saw that in him? a rap artist and hiin him?
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lin-manuel: i drew a direct line between hamilton's writing and the rappers i grew up adoring. charlie: they wrote themselves. lin-manuel: yes, but they also wrote about circumstances which is what hamilton did. l' wayne talking about katrina and the government not doing enough. it is eminem talking about growing up white in detroit. it is writing about that struggle and the paradoxical. your writing is so good it gets you out. charlie: when you read that and you learn about hamilton, you just -- lin-manuel: yeah. charlie: deep inside of me is the form he would have. lin-manuel: right. also in the introductory, introductions of the book, you realize hamilton wrote himself. his writing was the key to
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everything. charlie: you finished the book? lin-manuel: yes. charlie: you have to meet the author? lin-manuel: i did. i felt like i had a clear picture of who hamilton was when i finished writing the book that i wanted to talk to the author, talk to ron and say we are seeing the same guy, right? charlie: is this whole thing we see every night, six nights a week on this stage, what was already when you went to talk to ron? lin-manuel: yes, it was starting to. i was thinking of an album first. even that was a musical theater precedent. jesus christ superstar began as a concept album. andrew lloyd webber wrote these amazing songs about the last three days of jesus' life and they were so good that you have to turn it into a show. that is what i was hoping to do with hamilton -- make the album
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first. charlie: all of this is going on in your head. all of these possibilities. these characters, these times. lin-manuel: the hard part was i needed to do research to really be able to write about it well. that is what historians learn. you cannot just go with the story in front of you. you have to check your sources -- charlie: you dive into research. lin-manuel: i did. not just about hamilton. ron's book was a great guide but research into burr, jefferson. and finding little things. i'm looking for the historical versions of those moments for my characters as i am running them. fo writing them. for me, burr, there is a great biography. it is about his relationship with his wife and daughter. the other thing i learned was when he met his wife, she was married to a british officer. she was helping the
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revolutionaries. they were staying in her house and he stayed in touch with her. their correspondence was like a year before her husband died in georgia. he died, they were together. this is a guy who waited for this officer to die before he could probably -- ok, this guy is comfortable waiting for his moment. that was the key insight for me. even in matters of love -- i understood he was politically cautious, but even when it came to matters of his heart, he said this woman is the woman for me. i will wait and see what happens. lin-manuel: patients many people do not have. lin-manuel: hamilton calls them out. if you love this woman, go fight for. that is what i would do. he said, no, i will wait. it will come to me. charlie: burr becomes your narrator because you need what? lin-manuel: i need several things. i need -- i need balance.
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hamilton would be happy to narrate his own story but he goes on too long. charlie: in paragraphs and paragraphs. lin-manuel: burr is tsuccint . ct,. . burr is the mirror image of hamilton. he speeds through college. go through princeton in two years at age 13. charlie: just as smart as hamilton. lin-manuel: just as smart as hamilton. hamilton says go and burr says stop. he is conscious. the only difference is legacy. burr came from money. burr's father was the president of princeton and his grandfather was a famous preisiest. he has all of this legacy and does not know what to do it, in my version of them. he is very cautious. he's got money. he's in the early american
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aristocracy. charlie: you do not necessarily know that much about burr. lin-manuel: i have to go looking for burr. charlie: he is everything you need. lin-manuel: yes, but it is tough because it is not linear. hamilton's squabbles were with jefferson. many would say jefferson is the bad guy and he should narrate because those were the political fights. the fight with burr is one of temperament. how do you dramatize a difference in temper? i have a friend that gets mad about everything, but our lives -- i had to confine that to dramatize it and always show hamilton going and burr pausing. charlie: i want to talk about the characters. they are latino -- they are everything. lin-manuel: chinese american.
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charlie: that is on purpose? tommy said it's -- it so well that i quote him. this is a story of america then told by america now. charlie: a great line. the story of america then told by america now. lin-manuel: we are america now. this is what this country looks like. this is what our country looks like. simple as that. we are allowed to tell the story. charlie: what do you think it means to your actors? lin-manuel: i have been told what it means to our actors. charlie: you know your actors. lin-manuel: i am with them every night. it is very moving. you know, some of these actors i have known my entire adulthood . some of these actors i just met when the addition. ey auditioned. chris is as much a history buff
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as i am, if not more so. dauntedoth new and was because he knew everything that represented it. he has done his homework. he read spider fees three or four times -- biographies three or four times. david plays jefferson. i never felt like any of those stories were relevant to my life and my upbringing. know, we haveu all grown up in the legacy of slavery and that is our story. the story of the creation of this country is our story too. charlie: what were you looking for in casting? lin-manuel: people who could do it. that sounds simple but it is hard. charlie: why? lin-manuel: because it is a ton of language. it is easier for you to do the show if you've maybe done a little shakespeare, maybe some
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chekhov because of the abundance of language. charlie: it is shakespeare in terms of how much -- lin-manuel: not in terms of quality but in terms of quantity. charlie: quantity within time. lin-manuel: and density. these are packed sentiments. charlie: you have had to have someone to deliver. lin-manuel: to make it feel real and to a beat. that is hard. charlie: that is music talent. lin-manuel: that is music of talent and also requires a level of expertise in terms of acting craft to make this feel spontaneous because it is heightened language. charlie: costumes is another thing. lin-manuel: absolutely. charlie: how did you conceive of that? lin-manuel: i did not. charlie: how did he conceive it? charlie he had a lotlin-manuel:f
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conversations with tommy. tommy said my nightmare version of this is sideway based all caps and hightops. that is an outdated version of hip-hop. the mass market still likes to circulate it as hip-hop. it is better to create attention of the cost and in the language. charlie: between a costume and contemporary language? lin-manuel: attention is compelling and exciting. it is exciting to see someone dressed in a period specific revolutionary war outfit rapping faster than anybody. asking you to hold a lot of ideas in your head at the same time and we are hopefully creating a unified aesthetic that allows you to get involved and hang together. charlie: there are also references to south pacific.
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lin-manuel: the pirates. charlie: other than your brain, what is that about? -- that is it's tommy's line. there are a lot of on ramps. if you are scared of hip-hop or thought hip-hop was not music for you, we will quote 1776. we are going to quote south pacific at you. we will give you king george who invasion style song from the 60's. it is a showstopper. it is a breath where the lyrics slow down and take our time. it is the show we know how to write that kind of song. charlie: is it written with comedy in mind? lin-manuel: absolutely. with king george, i was thinking of jesus christ superstar. the much-needed comic relief and les miserables.
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without them, it is a tough piece. what is interesting about that role -- i do not really anticipate it. it becomes the audience's surrogate. as they watch this country being formed over their eyes and the king goes you are going to change leaders? what will you do once the war is over? you will be back. he speaks to the country as if it was a girlfriend he did not treat well. it's really fun to watch the audience take his side. charlie: what is your creative process? where are you when you write all of this? what are you doing? lin-manuel: what am i doing? charlie: just sitting in an anteroom? empty room? lin-manuel: no, i'm sitting in a room with a cluttered desk, with a keyboard hooked up to my computer.
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often what i did with this show is i write just enough music to get a loop of a beat i like or a four-chord progression that i like. i like it enough to hook it up to my ipod and take my dog out for a walk and listen to it and i talk to myself in the park. my dog is super patient. [laughter] doesn't care that i'm talking to myself in the park. people think i'm crazy. fine by me. i talk to myself in the character after i have done the research and know what the song needs to accomplish. i just talked to myself until it starts to fit. charlie: alexander hamilton, what did you know about his dueling? tell me about hamilton and going into this. he had a lunch date. it is early in the morning. charlie: dawlin-manuel: dawn. charlie: why do you think you
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threw away his shot? do you believe that or is it since the something that makes your play? lin-manuel: what i came to was i'm less interested in who did what as i am of what were hamilton's final thoughts. what was going through his head based on his one friend and now enemy. the sun is rising over manhattan. the sun is rising over manhattan and we've got guns in our hands. we are facing each other in a field. what is he thinking in his final moments? i think he is talking about the steps that brought thehim here. he writes in a letter before and says there is no way this could have been avoided. it was always going to come to this. that was a big clue, was his disagreements with burr are not the choice of words.
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this was going to happen. they are fundamentally different men. charlie: does he ever say this was going to happen? i was coming to this moment? lin-manuel: i will have him say it again, i imagine it feels more like a memory. this is where it gets me. several feet ahead of me. if i see it coming, do i run, fire my gone or let it be? there was no beat, no melody. i had him thinking about those final moments because he is aware of it as a young child. when it finally comes, it is actually quite. it is our only moment of quiet in the show. only time we don't have a beat or instruments. all you are is a little wind and it is hamilton alone with his thoughts. it is the last thing i wrote for the show. i've been writing song moment
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after song moment. what is the song? i wrote a draft called the time to take the bullet to leave the gun. it was very exciting. it was silence. charlie: i like it better. lin-manuel: i like it better too. charlie: because it is the moment. lin-manuel: that is what we hear in the final moments -- silence. charlie: his last words were? lin-manuel: i don't remember his last words. ron would know. he died with his whole family by his side. angelica was there. she was in new york. liza was there, the children were wailing. he died at a friends house on maiden lane. charlie: how long after the bullet entered? lin-manuel: 24 hours after so be suffered and died slow. charlie: can we talk about -- it is powerful.
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the songs. do you have favorites? got tose that if you've say i just wrote this? lin-manuel: i will tell you the creation -- now, sometimes a line enters your head and you were so grateful for it. you go online to see if anybody wrote it before you. songwas true of burr's "wait for it." which the hook came to me. i was on the way to a friends birthday party and i was listening to the loop on the train. it came to me. death does not discriminate between the sinners and the saints. it takes, takes and takes. we rise and we fall and we break and if there is a reason, i'm still alive and everybody who love me has died and i'm willing to wait for it. that came in one giant lump on
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the train to brooklyn. i went to my friends party and said happy birthday, i have to go home. [laughter] i got back on the train and wrote it on the way home. could not wait. happens is the toughest jigsaw puzzle i have ever done. i'm both trying to be slain a very complicated -- explain a coppermined is and what makes it exciting is we are telling you from the perspective of the one person who was not there =-- burr. you guys traded away the capital of our country for an unprecedented plan and at a deal that none of us were at. charlie: the room where it happened. lin-manuel: so, it's jefferson's side of the story. it is madison's side of the story. the capital should be here, it
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should be here. he says to jefferson in our song, maybe we can solve one problem with another and win a victory for the southerners. wouldn't you like to work a little closer to home? it is two virginians plotting on how to get the capital close to where they are. charlie: washington rather than new york. into virginia. other songs? what is it that you think will be most remembered? lin-manuel: i cannot begin to pretend to know. i know that -- charlie: the opening number. lin-manuel: the opening number, i was very proud of having written that song and what it captured. charlie: satisfaction? lin-manuel: we said. wait for it was a big one for me
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burr's butat hook is that is how i feel. some of usow why live and some of us die and why some of us are born. we are lucky enough to be born where we are and have access to health care and incredible life. some of us are born in parts of the world were n where none of that happens. is there a reason that we are born where we are? if there is, burr says i will wait for what that reason is. hamilton says nothing is promised. i will grab everything i can while i can. charlie: are you burr or hamilton? lin-manuel: both. we are all both. that is the whole thing. i think that there are moments in our life where we step up and we take the risks when it is
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easier to stay home. you don't sing 16 bars of hamilton at the white house when you could have sung by song you already know. it took me six years to get my show on broadway. that is the burr in me. charlie: it's a view that long to get it right. -- it took you that long to get it right. lin-manuel: you can make it better. that is what we are aiming for to make the best show possible. that is the way for it. that is the burr. charlie: the moment of self-definition -- are you writer? lin-manuel: yes. you don't have to finish that. i'm a writer. i'm an actor to get my writing done. i see writing and acting as the same thing. i have to inhabit those characters. play them as fully as i can when i write down what i say. that is as simple as it is and complicated as it is.
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here is the thing -- if you write about geniuses, that is how i feel about hamilton. i'm writing about a genius. i'm no genius, but i'm writing and i have to write from this perspective so that looks close to the same thing. ♪
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john: and i'm john heilemann. and with all due respect to house speaker paul ryan -- mr. ryan: i do not want nor will i accept the nomination for our party. count me out. let me say again, i am not going to be our party's nominee. i should not be considered, period, end of story. john: so you're saying there's a chance. ♪ rk

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