Lin-Manuel Miranda was in Mexico promoting his upcoming Disney film Moana when the election results came in. But that didn’t diminish its impact on the celebrated Hamilton creator — or the overwhelming emotions he felt in the election’s aftermath.
“A lot of people thought we’d see our first woman president last Tuesday,” said Miranda, who cowrote the music to Moana (out Nov. 23). “I think the most important thing I can do … is to remind people that the values you believed in Tuesday didn’t go away because of an election.”
The 36-year-old admitted he felt fear, much like others in the wake of Tuesday night, but added that he feels “a sense of moral clarity.”
“There are millions of people who still believe in tolerance and equal rights and diversity and respect for everyone who lives in this country, no matter where you were born,” said Miranda, who is the son of Puerto Rican immigrants and was raised in the New York City’s culturally diverse Washington Heights neighborhood.
He added that Moana‘s heartfelt story — about a young teen who sets off on a perilous journey at sea to save her people — resonates especially closely with him these days, amid the current national climate.
“It’s just such a wonderful time for this movie to be out in the world and see a young woman save [it],” he said of the film’s titular heroine. “She’s not looking for a boyfriend, she’s a warrior and she’s on a journey.”
Miranda also said the subject of his Tony-winning musical, Alexander Hamilton, would not be surprised about the “mudslinging” that went on during the election.
“Talking smack has always existed,” he said. “But the speed at which an event can change or trigger opinion and turnout, I think he’d be really freaked out by that. We move fast now and that’s scary.”