By now, you’re probably well acquainted with Lin-Manuel Miranda, the lyricist-slash-rapper-slash-actor of the hit musical Hamilton.
After months away from the Great White Way, Miranda is back to singing and dancing on the regular—this time for Mary Poppins Returns, a sequel to the beloved classic film, as an English lamplighter named Jack, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Jack is the latest character Miranda has embraced, one which will be remembered alongside Usnavi the bodega owner of In The Heights, Gus the rhyme-spitting bus rider of How I Met Your Mother, and (of course) Alexander Hamilton. While Miranda is busy making a name for himself in Hollywood, I decided to look back at a few memorable moments in which the charismatic chameleon is just being his plain ol’ self. Take a look!
1. When he was just a wee music nerd, LMM performed a spirited lip-sync to “Footloose” alone in his bedroom…and recorded the entire thing.
Check out those He-Man bed sheets!
2. During his junior year at Wesleyan University, he performed chart-topping pop songs including *NSYNC’s “It’s Gonna Be Me” and Destiny Child’s “Say My Name” with for a talent show.
You might be asking, “Who hasn’t performed chart-topping pop songs at a school talent show?” A fair question, sure, but to that, I reply: “Who has performed pop chart-toppers at a school talent show…as Marc Anthony?” The answer? Only Lin-Manuel Miranda. This video is a prime example of the man’s love for genre blending and being just a little bit dramatic.
3. As a gift to his wife Vanessa on the day of their 2010 nuptials, he led their wedding party in a boisterous rendition of “To Life (L’Chaim)” from Fiddler on the Roof, complete with modified lyrics to fit the happy occasion.
Lin-Manuel Miranda knows how to write an epic love story (see: Eliza Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton, Benny and Nina in In the Heights, and so on), so it’s no surprise that the writer extraordinaire is a huge romantic in real life. Mazel tov!
4. The musical maestro helped his own dad, Luis, fulfill his Sound of Music dreams in this adorable cover of “Do-Re-Mi” featuring a dozen of their family members.
(YouTube/The Ellen Show)
I don’t know what’s cuter: Mr. Miranda’s infectious grin or LMM gently correcting him when he sings the wrong lyrics (“Papa, it’s fa”).
5. His iconic “Love is love is love is love…” speech at the 2016 Tony Awards.
While accepting the award for Best Original Score, Miranda shouts out his wife and pays homage to those who lost their lives during the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida earlier that day. It was the kind of awards acceptance speech that deserves its own award.
6. In a recent interview for NPR’s Fresh Air, he referred to the braggadocious rap number “My Shot” as a “Disney Princess song”:“
[‘My Shot’] is the, you know, adolescent who wants to go out and change the world. I mean, it’s a Disney Princess song…”
At the time, Miranda was promoting the Disney animated film Moana, for which he wrote seven original songs, including the Oscar-nominated ballad “How Far I’ll Go.”
7. Any time he watches another artist perform, he literally glows.
Whether he’s off to the side, looking on in awe during a #Ham4Ham with Lea Solanga or reacting to a medley of his own songs on the Oscars red carpet, you can tell he truly appreciates the hard work that his fellow performers do.
For Lin-Manuel Miranda, it doesn’t matter if he’s front-and-center or simply cheering others on, it’s clear that the Broadway big shot is doing what he loves, both onstage and off. Keep doing you, Lin!