tick, tick… Boom !: “Andrew Garfield transformed into Jonathan Larsson"

There is no doubt that Lin-Manuel Miranda revolutionized the musical genre. Just look at projects like the sequel to Mary Poppins, what he did with Hamilton on Broadwayor his recent movie, In the Heights, to understand it. This Friday came to Netflix a very personal story for him: “tick, tick… Boom!”, about the life and work of the composer who pushed him to be who he is today, Jonathan Larsson.

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“tick, tick… Boom!” shows a young man about to turn 30, with a very clear goal in his life: wanting to be a composer of musicals. But as happens everywhere, wanting and trying is not always enough. Born as a musical work, it was the work that earned Larsson the confidence of the producers so that he could write what ended up being Rent, an emblem of musicals, which he could not see because he died the day his show was to be held.

Before being a movie of Netflix, “tick, tick… Boom!” It was a musical by Broadway that in its different versions was carried out by different actors. Among them was Neil Patrick Harris (How I met your mother) and own Lin-Manuel Miranda. That is why it also added an extra point when it came to being conceived as a film.

In addition, the feature film became the debut of Miranda as director. Although he had already worked in other roles in works of his authorship, such as In the Heights and Hamilton, I had never pulled the strings before. To do so, he leaned on the figure of Alice Brooks, a seasoned cinematographer who chatted with Spoiler about what it was like to carry out this project.

You had already been to In the Heights, what was it like to see Miranda make the leap to directing?

It was wonderful, because it brought this idea from the theater of doing workshops to “Tick… Tick… Boom!”. The workshops are very specific in the theater, but Lin he has a lot of experience in the theater. What you do is try different things, so we use the prep time to try things out. We did the storyboardsWe would see them and if they didn’t work, we would change them. It was incredible, because the scriptwriter was with us in the storyboarding process and was able to make quick changes to the script. It was amazing teamwork between Lin, I, in those meetings was the production designer, the scriptwriter and the storyboard artist, because we started to see what it would be like “tick, tick… Boom!”. So by the time we started shooting everything was very specific. It was one of the best jobs I had in my life.

What do you think of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s legacy in musicals?

Lin left an incredible mark on musical theater and musical films, and what’s amazing is that “Tick… Tick… Boom!” it’s a movie about Jonathan Larson, who inspired Lin to become a musical scriptwriter when he was 16 years old. It was the first time … when Lin saw Rent on Broadway understood: “Ah, musicals can have the music that I listen to”. He realized that he could use his voice to tell a musical and tell the stories he wanted. Built on what Jonathan Larson it began and, unfortunately, could not continue due to his early death. Lin was able to grow and develop from that moment when he was 16 years old and saw Rent, and he made his mark on musicals today.

It was his first time as a director. Did you feel there was extra pressure for him?

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Lin he doesn’t feel pressure, at least he doesn’t seem to show it. It is like a child playing all the time. Children do not worry about what is about to happen. When he made the movie he looked like a little boy directing a movie, he was so excited, so focused. It was beautiful to see.

Andrew Garfield’s talent as a singer came as a surprise to many. What was it like to see it in action?

Not only did he transform into a singer, he transformed into Jonathan Larsson. There was one day during pre-production that I was sitting behind Andrew Garfield, he was in front of me, we were watching Sunday in the park with George, some the cast and crew were watching. I saw him look at Robin of Jesus, they had an exchange, he turned to continue watching television, and I realized in that moment that he had become John. I took a picture of him from behind and sent it to Lin, it was the perfect silhouette, it looked exactly like Jonathan from behind. Andrew He left everything in this project, he also learned to play the piano. He is an incredible actor, he transformed in an incredible way, when you hear him sing you would never have imagined three years ago that he could sing.

Vanessa Hudgens already had experience, mainly thanks to High School Musical. What did you bring to the shoot?

Vanessa she is an incredible professional. She is lovely as a human being. You hear her sing and … The first time I heard her sing was before … It was a workshop of “tick, tick… Boom!”, there was no cast except for Andrew and she was reading one of the parts to the audience, I heard her sing. I knew his previous job, I have a 6 year old boy so High School Musical he’s at my house all the time. But being in a room with her singing is very powerful.

Were there influences from other musicals?

We don’t try to watch specific musicals. What we wanted to create is … The film takes place in New York between 1990 and 1992, and with Lin We are the same age, we were both raised in New York and we were 10 years old in 1990, the time the movie takes place. I left the city at that age and that New York took root in me, the vision of a 10-year-old girl in this big world. And that’s what we wanted, to make it feel … We wanted to make a New York movie, with musical elements.

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