Leslie Odom, Jr. left the Pulitzer Prize-winning Hamilton after the July 9 performance—and after winning a Tony Award on June 12 for his performance in the role of historical villain Aaron Burr.
So many wondered: Why? Odom appeared on ABC’s The View August 10 to chat with hosts Whoopi Goldberg and contributor Molly Sims, and when asked that question, Odom responded, “I did the show around 400 times. It takes a second for the movement to catch on, so by the time a lot of people heard about it, we’d already been doing it for a while. Your knees start to ache and your back starts to ache. It felt like it was time to go. It felt like it was time to get these guys back together. I performed on and off with these guys for years — we’ve known each other, but this is the first time we put together a project where we decided to focus on this again.”
Goldberg asked Odom to revisit the momentous occasion when he won his first Tony. “I heard [in my head], ‘Do not mess this up.' I heard, ’Make sure you thank everybody you're supposed to thank,‘” said Odom, ”because it's not a guarantee that you’ll ever be up there ever again.”
See photos of the 2016 Tony Award winners, including Odom:
See the 2016 Tony Award Winners!
The audience at The View also learned when and how Odom first started to sing.
Odom followed up the interview with a performance of the song “Autumn Leaves” from his new self-titled solo album.
Watch the full version of the clip from The View here.
Brandon Victor Dixon (Shuffle Along) will replace Odom as the full time Aaron Burr in Broadway’s Hamilton starting August 23.