Lin-Manuel Miranda says he channeled his father while playing Hamilton

The actor opens up about his father in a new documentary.
/ Source: TODAY
By Chrissy Callahan

Lin-Manuel Miranda didn't have to look very far for inspiration when he was preparing to play Alexander Hamilton on Broadway.

According to the actor, he ended up channeling someone very near and dear to him while performing in the hit musical "Hamilton": his father, Luis Miranda.

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"His relentlessness to keep going — that's what I keyed in on," he said in a new trailer for the documentary "Siempre, Luis," which TODAY exclusively premiered Thursday morning.

"When I was playing Hamilton, I was just playing my father. He's just relentless," the 40-year-old continued.

The documentary, whose title translates to "Always, Luis," profiles Miranda's 66-year-old father, who came to New York City in the '70s from Puerto Rico. The elder Miranda later worked in the mayor's administration as the director of Hispanic affairs.

In his career, Luis Miranda worked on the Senate campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Luis Miranda, a founding partner of the consulting firm MirRam Group, has worked to represent the Hispanic community, something he addresses in the documentary's trailer.

"Not everyone wanted us here. I saw that as an opportunity to reach out to other Latinos to open government to them," he said.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and dad Luis Miranda attend the 65th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards at Sardi's on May 21, 2015, in New York City.Walter McBride / Getty Images

"Siempre, Luis" first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and is now making its debut on HBO on Oct. 6. In the documentary, Luis Miranda's wife and son both address his recent heart attack and encourage him to slow down a bit.

"I tell him, 'I don't want to be a widow. There isn't another you to replace you,'" his wife said.

But when his son asks how he is doing, Luis Miranda shrugs off the question and says, "Uh, I'm probably busier than I was before the heart attack."

In the documentary, Luis Miranda also makes his way to Puerto Rico to assist with relief efforts following Hurricane Maria in 2017.

"For me, Puerto Rico is this perfect place," he said. "I immediately saw it as my responsibility to rebuild the island."