Lin-Manuel Miranda Addresses ‘In the Heights’ Casting Criticism


Quiara Alegria HUDES, the film’s script writer, discussed the decision to make Nina Afro Latina in the film version. “I wanted Nina Afro Latina. That’s what I wanted to do in the film version of “In the Heights.”

Corey Hawkins is Nina’s love interest and an employee at her father’s cab company.

Felice Leon, a video production assistant with the Root , addressed the topic in a recent interview where she spoke with Jon M. Chu and some of the film’s leading actors. She stated, “As Black woman of Cuban origin, specifically from New York City,” that it would have been remiss of me not to acknowledge the fact most of your principal actors were light skinned or white-passing Latinx.

Leon acknowledged that there were some Black background dancers, and Black women in scenes in the hair stylist, a social hub that is open to all women in the neighborhood. However, Leon said that Black performers were not in the lead roles.

“We want Afro-Panamanians and Black Dominicans,” she stated. “That is what we want and that is what our hearts yearn for.”

Chu explained that while it was an issue that filmmakers had discussed, but that they tried to cast the right people for the roles “in the final, when we were looking through the cast, we tried our best to get the best actors.”

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