Why Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr. Almost Walked Out On The Movie


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Aaron Burr (Leslie Odom Jr.) sings to the audience in 'Hamilton'

The launch of Hamilton on Disney+ has led to an enormous improve in curiosity within the already beloved musical. That has meant a number of optimistic consideration for the solid of the movie, who originated the roles they play on display when Hamilton was on Broadway. However Leslie Odom Jr., who stars as Aaron Burr, virtually selected to not take part, and practically walked away from the chance shortly earlier than they started to shoot the movie.

There is no such thing as a Hamilton with out Aaron Burr. He serves not solely because the prolonged story’s narrator but additionally finally ends up being the determine behind lots of the pivotal moments within the musical, together with the homicide of the musical’s eponymous Founding Father. For individuals who’ve been followers of the musical because it first hit Broadway in 2015, it might have been laborious to image anybody however Leslie Odom Jr. bringing him to life within the Hamilton movie.

Nevertheless, the Tony-winning actor discovered himself confronted with a tricky resolution when he and the remainder of Hamilton’s unique Broadway solid have been requested to take part within the filming of their stage efficiency for the film. He advised the Armchair Professional Podcast that he wished to ensure he was being paid what he knew his participation was price:

They got here to me with a suggestion and you understand, ‘Leslie, we’re capturing tomorrow.’ Here is the factor: That is it. That is my space of experience. That is all I’ve. That is my life’s work on the stage, too. And so I simply can’t promote it away for magic beans. I can not give it away.

It appears like the choice as as to if or not he can be part of the movie got here all the way down to the wire as a result of Leslie Odom Jr. stood his floor:

The day earlier than we shot that film I referred to as out. I used to be not kidding. I used to be not coming to work the following day to do the film. You already know, I used to be not kidding. It was a precept for me and typically it would not work out. Generally they have a look at you and go, ‘We’re simply not paying it,’ and it’s a must to go, ‘That is OK.’

Leslie Odom Jr. did his analysis, too, so he might ensure that he was being appropriately compensated for what would turn into probably the most buzzed-about films of 2020:

So I can ask CAA (Artistic Artists Company), ‘What does my white counterpart, what does Aaron Tveit make to do Grease Dwell! on TV? What does he make to do Grease? That is Hamilton stay, proper? So once I discovered what he made, I did not ask for a penny extra. I did not ask for one penny extra, however I mentioned, ‘You should pay me precisely what that white boy received to do Grease Dwell!’ That is the underside line.

For Leslie Odom Jr., it appears like the underside line ended up understanding in his favor — not less than to the purpose that he was prepared to signal on for the Hamilton film. That’s excellent news for followers, each new and previous alike, as a result of it means we will get pleasure from his gorgeous efficiency for years to come back. It’s out there to stream now on Disney+.

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