Jon Rua Talks Understudying for Lin-Manuel Miranda & Javier Munoz in ‘Hamilton’
Understudy Jon Rua recently got his shot at one of the most prized roles today, the titular Hamilton in smash hit Broadway musical.. The General Charles Lee actor recently got the chance to take over for Lin-Manuel Miranda and Javier Munoz, who normally share the role with Munoz serving as alternate. Now Rua is opening up about the experience of a lifetime.
Rua spoke to Broadway World about his shot at Hamilton and the reception his performance received:
"Someone has said that my performance was 'so human.' I would say the level of humanity I bring to Hamilton is so specifically me. I know him, and I know the world I live in as Hamilton and where the character is going. If I had to find words I would reference some from a director friend of mine that listed his impression on what my Hamilton would be like: Passionate, Angry, Romantic, Youthful, Relentless, Complicated, Powerful, Kinetic."
Rua’s performance wasn’t perfectly polished as Rua admitted:
"Right after I finished the scene prior to 'Take a Break,' I was putting my prop glasses away for the first time ever, searching for a pocket in my coat, getting to my seat, setting up props to work with, and by that time I thought, 'Wait, this is the Angelica song,' which it isn't necessarily. She's part of the song. I then realized my brain was trying to search for the words, and the song had already begun."
Rua had committed the worse sin an actor could commit, he was thinking. For anyone who has never performed on a stage before, it should be known that the worse place for any actor to be is inside their own head:
"Now I know why I was thinking what I was thinking, and more importantly, I had to recall what word I could use to jump straight into the rest of the phrase. I came in by, 'tomorrow creeps in this petty place from day to day.'"