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‘Hamilton’ Star Phillipa Soo Reveals Motivation for Character’s Famous Gasp


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Hamilton star Phillipa Soo is shedding some light on the debated gasp her character lets out at the conclusion of the Broadway show. 

With the smash Lin-Manuel Miranda musical landing on Disney+ earlier this month, debate over Eliza Hamilton’s final moment has been reignited. 

Soo talked about the moment when she visited SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle show on Wednesday. The actress first asked what Cagle and co-host Julia Cunningham thought the gasp represented. 

“I thought it was a breaking of the [fourth] wall, like why the story is called Hamilton,” Cunningham said. 

Cagle’s ventured guess: “I felt like she was seeing him because we were jumping several years ahead to her death, but I think in that time she was also realizing she had told his story.” 

Soo said they were both on to something and happy she now gets to hear people’s thoughts, which she did not so much want to hear during production so her interpretation wasn’t skewed. 

“I would not be able to tell you what I was thinking precisely in that (2016) moment when it was shot. Night to night it was different. But yes, the character of Eliza sees Hamilton or sees that legacy or sees that orphanage … or sees her kids telling her story. It was an exploration for me every day because you do a show eight times a week for a year and you find new things every single time.” 

Soo told Cunningham the breaking of the fourth wall was correct, that she could “look out and see all these beautiful faces and acknowledge that story we had all taken a ride to witness.” 

She added, “And I can imagine that since we shot the film a couple of weeks before I left the show, that a lot of that you’re seeing is not only that show, but also that year and moment in time.” 

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