Lin-Manuel Miranda was 'terrified' during portrait sitting

By Annie Martin

Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Lin-Manuel Miranda says he was "terrified" while posing for his portrait for the National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian.

The 39-year-old actor, playwright and composer discussed the photograph and former first lady Michelle Obama during Tuesday's episode of Today.


Obama presented Miranda, the creator of the musical Hamilton, with the Portrait of a Nation Prize at a gala Sunday in Washington, D.C. The honor recognizes Miranda's impact on America's history and culture.

Miranda posed for photographer Mark Seliger ahead of the event. Miranda's portrait is a dynamic image that shows the actor posing in his Hamilton costume.

"You can't tell, but I am standing on photographer Mark Seliger's roof. It's a four-story drop behind me, and I'm scared out of my mind in this picture," Miranda said. "Every time they catch the breeze, Mark is very happy, but I'm even more scared I will fall.

"There's a metaphor in there for how history remembers us. Looking very cool but actually very terrified," he added.

Miranda said it was an honor to receive the prize from Obama. He performed a song from Hamilton for Obama and her husband, then-president Barack Obama, at the White House in 2009, years prior to the musical's Broadway debut.


"I performed the first song from this, when it was really just one song, in 2009. The full circle-ness of being able to then perform for her when we were off Broadway and bring the show to the White House was a dream come true, so I'm really grateful for her," Miranda said.

Miranda had shared a candid photo of himself and Obama at the gala Monday on Twitter.

"About last night..." he captioned the post.

Miranda presently stars in a BBC One/HBO series adaptation of His Dark Materials. The series co-stars Dafne Keen and Ruth Wilson and airs Mondays on HBO.

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