Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles [MUSIC - LESLIE ODOM JR., "THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED"] Two Virginians and an immigrant walk into a room, diametrically opposed, foes. What I knew about Hamilton before I picked up Ron's biography to read was, he was the guy on the ten and he died in a duel. I loved learning that even though women couldn't vote, they were extremely influential. The flaws of these men and women were something I was discovering as I was writing it. Our founding fathers were trifling and were constantly engaged in the kind of behavior that seems sort of normal now. So when people say it's gotten so bad and I was like, oh, no, no, no, no. James Callender was a-- was a beast. When you can look at somebody who accomplished great things, and they were as petty and brash and childish at times as you, it can set you free. It's sort of like just bringing an awareness to the fact that human beings have always been the way we are. (SINGING) We just assume that it happens, but no one else is in the room where it happens. Along the journey, what I realized was, we weren't telling stories about oil painting people. We were telling stories about people who had needs that were like ours and struggles that were like ours. (SINGING) When he was ten, his father split, full of it, debt-ridden. Two years later, see Alex and his mother bed-ridden, half-dead, sitting in their own sick, the scent thick. And Alex got better but his mother went quick. Getting to know Eliza was a very interesting journey. I spent some time, you know, kind of lamenting as Angelica. Her whole life was dedicated to lifting up others, lifting up Hamilton's legacy. How frustrating it would be to be the most intelligent person in this new country and the only person that cannot run for president. The job of making a piece of art is to try to do so with authenticity and truth. This is an immigrant story because Hamilton didn't grow up on the mainland. He grew up in the Caribbean and wrote his way out of the Caribbean, wrote his way towards a scholarship. It was eye-opening to relearn these things, but like the audience would relearn them, learn them in a way that felt more accessible somehow. That to me sort of implied a hip-hop narrative because that's what our favorite hip-hop artists do. They write about their reality so brilliantly that we can sing it around the world. (SINGING) New York, New York. (SINGING) Just you wait. ENSEMBLE: (SINGING) Alexander Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton, we are waiting in the wings for you, waiting in the wings-- you could never back down. You never learned to take your time. Oh, Alexander Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton, when America sings for you, will they know what you overcame? Will they know you rewrote the game?