Lin-Manuel Miranda Explains Why He Left ‘Hamilton’

Though the curtain has closed on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s run in his Broadway smash, Hamilton, the actor still has a lot on his plate. With a starring role alongside Emily Blunt in the upcoming Mary Poppins sequel, Miranda is ready to take on the world.

Covering the latest issue of GQ, the breakout star reflects on playing Alexander Hamilton and what made him realize he was ready to part ways with the iconic role — and, more importantly, that ponytail — to pursue other projects.

“I was ready. My kid was born two weeks before rehearsals started. So we went from a newborn child at the beginning of this to complete sentences by the time I was leaving the show. That’s a hell of a thing, and that’s a marker of how fast it goes,” he tells the publication. “I had so much stuff I had to do that was not getting full expression, because my life was built around 8 p.m.”

“Performing Hamilton through two hours and 45 minutes, when you’re in it, was the most relaxing part of the day. Because I didn’t have unanswered e-mails, or family stuff I wasn’t doing. I was just supposed to be Hamilton, and I know the script on that one,” he continues. “It’s a 14-course meal of a role. So I leave very tired, but very fulfilled, every night. So I miss that. I miss the cast and crew. But I also had enough stuff going on in real life that I didn’t need this to be the rest of my life.”

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CREDIT: Sebastian Kim for GQ

For Miranda, leaving Hamilton was also getting part of his identity back. Though he’s grateful for all the opportunities to show has given him, including a visit to the White House and multiple Tony Awards, he’s also glad that he can be himself in the real world again.

“It was like returning to myself, to me, who I’ve always been, after two years of wearing it,” he says of chopping off his long locks. “Now that my hair is off, and I look less like The Guy in the Thing, my life’s been a little easier.”

He adds, “When Hamilton was at its peak, and I couldn’t ride the train without people wanting to talk to me the entire train ride, that was tough, because I no longer had the choice of engagement. And, you know, I hope to get it back.”

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CREDIT: Sebastian Kim for GQ

However, there is still one thing Miranda wishes he had done during his run. Though he’s performed for the likes of President Barack Obama and Alex Trebek, he secretly wishes he was there the night Prince was in the audience.

“I missed the chance to perform for Prince. When he came to Hamilton, I went to my friend’s wedding,” he shares. “And Prince was gone two months later. I don’t regret going to my friend’s wedding. I wouldn’t have missed that for the world. But, you know, who would have thought we ever had a limited time with Prince?!”