The stars of the original London production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton spoke with CBS This Morning about playing this American story as British actors and for a British audience.
“You can see that both American history and British history are wrapped up ... we’re very much intertwined in each other’s history,” says Jamal Westman, who earned a 2018 Olivier nomination for his work in the title role.
The production took home seven Olivier Awards at the 2018 ceremony, including Best New Musical and Best Actor in a Musical for star Giles Terera, who plays Aaron Burr.
Terera says that despite the story’s setting around the Revolutionary War—and a loss for Britain—it doesn’t feel strange to play in London. “The way [Lin-Manuel Miranda] writes it, it's not really about Britain losing. It's about that people gaining their independence and being free,” he says.
What’s more, the immigrant themes hold weight—even in a country not known as a melting pot. “The line ‘Immigrants we get the job done,’ that resonates with people in American and that resonates with audiences here.” Terera, Westman, and Olivier nominee Rachel John who plays Angelica Schuyler all come from immigrant roots.
“Whether it's now or 250 years ago or 200 years time,” Terera continues, “you think if someone is that brilliant at writing that will speak to different people in different countries at different times.”
Watch the video above for the full interview and a glimpse at highlights from the London production.