On this episode of Let’s Be Real, Sammy Jaye sits down with actor and musician Anthony Ramos to hear about the In the Heights shoot, his new album, the musical he’s working on, and some juicy behind the scenes stories about Hamilton. They also get into the stigma around men seeking therapy, the process of producing an album in a pandemic, and why they think all Broadway shows should be filmed and shared: “Broadway’s nickname is ‘The Great White Way,’” Anthony says, so as a Puerto Rican, it always seemed far-fetched to ever perform there. But through cinema, they’re able to invite so many more people to not only see the show, but see themselves occupying the stage one day: “We all have the same seat now.”
Anthony talks candidly about all his various projects, from having to set up a home studio and sing under a blanket for his new album, writing and recording a song for a charity, the story he wants to tell with his own musical, and the misery of the freezing-cold water in the Washington Heights public pool where they shot a scene for In the Heights. “When you see it, it’s going to look like the most gorgeous summer day….but it was gray, it rained all three days, and the water was freezing,” he laughs. One of Sammy’s favorite moments in Hamilton is the reversed choreography in “Satisfied;” what was it like to learn it? “It was the worst thing ever, it was so hard...I can’t explain to you the frustration that I experienced learning that,” he says. “But it looks fly!”
For one performance, he was snacking on Goldfish crackers backstage and had to come back out for his tragic death scene; Lin-Manuel Miranda told him later that “he could barely focus on the song” because all he could see was the bits of cracker in Anthony’s teeth. It wasn’t the only time he tripped up his co-stars; when he got the part in She’s Gotta Have It, he had to cut his hair, but Hamilton was still running. So the producers cut down one of his co-star Renee Elise Goldsberry’s wigs for him to wear, and “it was not a vibe,” he says. When he came out wearing it the first time, the cast laughed so hard that they couldn’t get through two of the numbers. “I feel bad for everyone who came to the show that night,” he laughs. Listen to the episode for more about Anthony’s career, his charity work, what the pandemic has taught him, and much more on Let’s Be Real.
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