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Feature: Behind the scene of His Dark Materials with BBC

[ Written on October 15 2019 by Francesca ]

The TV series His Dark Materials premieres on BBC One on Sunday October, 3 and the BBC offered a few features from behind the scenes with interviews to the talents involved, we quoted al the parts about Lin-Manuel Miranda below while the whole articles can be found here and here.

Plus, the feature had a picture of Miranda on set, check it in our gallery. [EDIT: Added a video from the set with an interview and new scenes.]

Six months later, on a warm summer’s day, another main cast member, the acclaimed Lin-Manuel Miranda, strides across a studio floor in Cardiff.

The production has predominantly been filmed inside a former factory, which is now home to the 250,000 sq ft, state-of-the-art Wolf Studios – and that’s in no small part to the unpredictable weather.

Miranda, best known as the Tony award-winning creator and star of the musical Hamilton, leaps into a metal shell resting against a vast green screen.

“Welcome to my hot air balloon,” he grins, explaining he plays the part of aeronaut Lee Scoresby, who he describes as a “Hans Solo-type figure” who helps Lyra on her journey.

“When you see this on the screen, it’ll be flying through the clouds,” he laughs, all thanks to computer generated technology.

The American actor describes himself as a huge fan of the Pullman books, which he first discovered in 2005.

His Dark Materials is made up of three novels; Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. They’ve been translated into 40 languages and sold close to 18 million copies worldwide.

Miranda says he’s thrilled to be part of the landmark series and didn’t need to think twice when he was approached to play the part.

He describes every day’s filming as “a new adventure”.

“Today I’m swinging in the hot air balloon, tomorrow I’m having a bar fight, tussling with stuntmen all day.”

And while he says it’s not the same buzz as performing before an audience, he says he’s equally enjoying this experience.

“The energy comes from knowing we are not coming back to this, from being ever present because you know this is the day to get this done and that’s the substitute to an audience for me,” he says.

He’s also enthusiastic about his time spent in Wales, having made Cardiff his home for months at a time – and delighting locals with regular appearances at a karaoke club in the Welsh capital.

Lee Scoresby’s daemon is an arctic hare named Hester and Manuel admits he’s become quite attached to the creature made from rope and foam, welcoming him on set like an old friend.

Overall, Manuel says he became engrossed in Pullman’s work by its complexity and themes, adding “it takes on life and death, love and growing up and losing people”.

Relocating to south Wales to film His Dark Materials was a “joy”, Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda has said.

The TV adaptation of Sir Philip Pullman’s trilogy is being screened in London before being broadcast on BBC One in November.

The actor plays Lee Scoresby in the series, which was made by production company Bad Wolf in Cardiff.

Miranda shared his love of Wales on social media during filming.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: “I think part of the joy of saying yes to this was in getting to live in a new part of the world.

“My wife is a lawyer and she does her homework, so every weekend is a different expedition. So, we are going to go to Hay-on-Wye and eat ice cream, and go to all the used booksellers and find cool stuff to read.

“Or we are going to go to Caerphilly Castle and take the kids. I was very lucky that my oldest son was in a knight phase and we had no shortage of castles to take him to.”

To the joy of many locals, Miranda, who has won Tony, Emmy and Grammy awards for his work, was also spotted at events including a musicals karaoke evening at a bar in Cardiff.

Miranda said: “Let me ask you something, wouldn’t it be weirder if there was a musical theatre karaoke going on in Wales and I wasn’t there?

“Yes, someone on Twitter invited me and they were like, ‘Hey, we do musical theatre karaoke, first Thursday of the month,’ and I was like, ‘I’ll see you there!’ And it was great. I brought a bunch of the crew, and it was a fun night out for a lot of the company.

“The next month was a costume night so I came in a phantom mask that I bought in Venice on my weekend off. It was brilliant.”

Coverage: Lin-Manuel Miranda is Julián Castro on Saturday Night Live

[ Written on October 13 2019 by Francesca ]

On October, 12 Lin-Manuel Miranda made a surprise appearance on Saturday Night Live in the cold open, portraying the Latino Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro.

Check the photos and screen captures in our gallery and the video below.

Television Projects > Saturday Night Live (2019)45×03 David Harbour/Camila CabelloProduction Stills
Television Projects > Saturday Night Live (2019)45×03 David Harbour/Camila CabelloEpisode Screencaptures

Photos: “The Wrong Man” Opening Night at MCC Theater

[ Written on October 10 2019 by Francesca ]

On Moday October, 7 Lin-Manuel Miranda attended the opening night of The Wrong Man at the Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space in New York City with his wife Vanessa Nadal.

Check all the photos in HQ in our Gallery.

Radio: Lin-Manuel Miranda on BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs

[ Written on October 06 2019 by Francesca ]

On Sunday October, 6 Lin-Manuel Miranda was the guest of the BBC Radio 4 program Desert Island Discs, where he got to pick eight songs one book and a luxury item he would bring on a desert island and explain why he likes them. Listen HERE.

The songs he picked are these:

  • Cabaret from Cabaret
  • The Crane Wife by The Decemberists
  • El padre Antonio y su monaguillo Andres by Ruben Blades
  • Passing Me By by The Pharcyde
  • What You Know by Ali Dineen
  • On The Radio by Regina Spektor
  • Dejate Querer by Gilberto Santa Rosa
  • Rosa Parks by Outkast

The book he picked is Moby Dick by Herman Melville and the luxury item is coffee.

Feature: His Dark Materials on The Sunday Times

[ Written on October 06 2019 by Francesca ]

The Sunday Times has a long feature about His Dark Materials, the show produced by the BBC and the HBO, full of pictures from behind the scenes and interviews with Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

In our Gallery you can see Lin-Manuel on set as Lee Scoresby with the puppet that serves as his dæmon Hester, and below you can read his part of the article.

A two-hour drive north of Cardiff, I am greeted by the anomalous sight of Lin-Manuel Miranda, the American creator and star of Hamilton: An American Musical, standing next to a hot-air balloon in the middle of a Welsh forest dressed in full country-and-western leathers. Miranda is playing Lee Scoresby, the swashbuckling aeronaut who helps Lyra on her journey. He has spent half of last year and half of this year living in Cardiff with his young family. How is he enjoying God’s own country? “I had no preconceptions of Wales,” he says. “Wales is not in the global imagination in the way that London is, or even Scotland or Ireland, so my family came over to beautiful countryside and we lived in a nice part of town near the mall. It was wonderful and then on our weekends we would go and explore a different part. They have castles everywhere to play with.” Before we meet, several cast and crew have whispered about the extent of his immersion in local culture. He has found a musical-theatre singalong in a local pub and has become a regular attendee. When I ask if that could possibly be true, he says, “Why would I miss that?”

To say he’s loving the part is an understatement. “On my first day, I got to do one of those classic bar scenes in a western,” he says, “where you come in and you say the wrong name and the music stops and everyone turns and looks up from their deck of cards.” He took the part because he and his wife had read the books when they’d just started dating. “They’re kind of in our courtship,” he says. He was also won over by the fact that Jack Thorne was writing the script. “Dealing with this beloved literary series is like threading the impossible needle. But I loved Jack’s adaptation of Harry Potter. He’d already done it once, so I trusted his ability to do it with Pullman’s work.”

He nods when I suggest the deeper theme of the trilogy — of Lyra’s pursuit of truth — is particularly apposite in an era of fake news. “You’re talking to the token American in the cast and it couldn’t be more relevant,” he says. “In terms of our current president dumping facts from the EPA website or, what I wish was less relevant, the notion of separating children. That is a major plotline in our series and that is a crisis happening at our border [with Mexico] right now. The big theme of Philip Pullman’s world is the notion of what happens when giant forces, whether they be governmental or religious, try to oppress us. That is universal. The teams will have different names, but that is the universal thing he hits at.”

From there, he digresses into his love of Welsh cakes and British sweets — “I’ve been munching on Dip Dabs and flying saucers” — before he is called back to his hot-air balloon by the director.

Read the whole feature under the cut.

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