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Lin-Manuel Miranda Talks 'His Dark Materials'
November 4, 2019  | By Mike Hughes
 


Lin-Manuel Miranda (top) was talking to TV critics, which was familiar turf.

He had met the Television Critics Association back in 2013, when he was the co-star of, well, something or other.

"The legendary Do No Harm … The lowest-rated show in the history of NBC," Miranda recalled.

That's an exaggeration, but not by much; no one wanted to see a modern Dr. Jekyl tale. So what has he been up to since then? "Just odds and ends," he said. "Song-and-dance man about town."

Also, saving Broadway, trying to save TV shows and Puerto Rico, boosting Disney, making movies, being the youngest Kennedy Center Honors winner ever, and now co-starring in His Dark Materials, which starts Monday on HBO.

The series is based on Philip Pullman's novels. "I was a fan of those books," Miranda told the TCA in July. "When my wife and I started dating, we read these books together."

A lot has happened since then. She became a lawyer, and he became a Broadway powerhouse – a Tony for In the Heights (which has now been turned into a movie), multiple Tony Awards for everything in Hamilton.

He's been busy but took time for His Dark Materials, where he's merely a supporting player.

The star is Dafne Keen, 14, who sees this as a key step. "We don't usually have young-woman leads … especially (one) who is so strong and is so determined."

That's Lyra, who, screenwriter Jack Thorne said, "is constantly interested in one thing and one thing only – doing the right thing."

Searching for her friend, she goes through alternate dimensions. She meets people who are bad – Ruth Wilson jokingly calls her character "the cesspit of moral filth" – and good.

The latter includes Lee Scoresby, a heroic balloonist in the novels. He's played by Miranda, who's been busy lately – co-starring in one Disney film (Mary Poppins Returns) while writing songs for others, directing a movie musical (Tick, Tick, Boom), pushing support for cancelled TV shows (One Day at a Time and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, both returning) and for Puerto Rico, his parents' homeland.

He's also preparing a TV documentary on one of the island's most famous natives, Rita Moreno. He's gotten busier since his Do No Harm days.

 
 
 
 
 
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