‘In the Heights’ Cast Talk ‘Full of Life’ Characters Amid Musical’s Theatrical Debut, HBO Max Premiere (Exclusive)

The highly-anticipated musical In The Heights is out in theaters and available on HBO Max today and not only have the fans been waiting to see it, but the cast members have been waiting to share their work for quite some time now. The vibrant film brings a Broadway production straight to the big screen and into the homes of many, giving viewers all the feels. During a sitdown with PopCulture.com, cast members, including Melissa Barrera, Jimmy Smits, Olga Merediz, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Gregory Diaz IV, the actors detailed why they chose to hop on board of the Quiara Alegría Hudes adapted, Jon M. Chu-directed and Lin Manuel Miranda musical project and how excited they are for this moment.

“Oh my God. How could I not say yes?” Rubin-Vega gushed when asked what made her say yes to the role of Daniela, a sassy and fierce salon owner. “Because one lives to play a character, not only that is so full of life and vibrancy, but that, you know, when I was Gregory’s (Diaz) age, there weren’t many roles written for people that looked like me. You know what I mean? I mean, it didn’t stop me from wanting to be an actor.” Her co-star Diaz, who plays the role of Sonny, is at the beginning of his career, with this being the second feature film, and he noted how family-life the atmosphere was when he was invited on board with open arms.

“Coming into it, I was pretty nervous,” the 16-year-old confessed. “I think just coming into such a huge project with so many huge names, but overall the community that was built before I got there, it was just so great already that I was coming in. I just kind of felt like I was a part of the family already.” While it may have been a big step for him, there were several of his co-stars who shared a similar pinch-me moment when seeing their film being broadcasted in the middle of Times Square. “It’s so iconic and you see all the billboards and you go there and people take pictures and I’ve always dreamed of having my face up on one of those billboards,” Barrera, who plays Vanessa in the film, gushed.

Like Hawkins, other stars of the movie described this magical opportunity as a “full-circle moment” for him. The movie was supposed to premiere in 2020, but due to the pandemic, things were pushed back, so they’ve been waiting for years for the public to see, and the time is finally here. In the Heights is out now in theaters and HBO Max.

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