Jon M. Chu (left) and Lin-Manuel Miranda
“I had the best tour guides: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes. They showed me their favorite bodegas, their favorite place to get café con leche. When they say the Heights is in your heart, they really mean it.” —Jon M. Chu, Director
Leslie Grace (left) and Jon M. Chu
“It was beautiful being able to go back to a place that I know so well and that my family has so many memories. My mom’s first business as a salon owner was a couple of blocks from where we shot.” — Leslie Grace, “Nina”
(From left) Mark Schmidt, Corey Hawkins and Leslie Grace
“To watch Nina and Benny madly in love dance along these fire escapes is the most perfect expression of that song. It’s a perfect example of how Jon [M. Chu] dreamed bigger than any of us in telling these stories.” —Lin-Manuel Miranda
(From left) Melissa Barrera, Anthony Ramos and Jon M. Chu
(From left) Alice Brooks, Jon M. Chu, Stephanie Beatriz and Daphne Rubin-Vega
Jon M. Chu (middle) and Cast
“The film has a line, ‘You can’t walk in these streets without bumping into somebody’s big dream.’ What makes the Heights extraordinary is it’s still one big family that comes together at the end of the day.” —Gregory Diaz IV, “Sonny”
(From left) Melissa Barrera, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Jon M. Chu
“We ate locally whenever we could; we supported the businesses that were all around us while we were there. We wanted to add value to the neighborhood while we were telling these stories.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda
(From left) Jon M. Chu, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Ramos
“It’s the music coming out of people’s windows, the bachata playing out of people’s cars on the street. It’s the café con leche and the bodega; it’s that vibration, man.” —Anthony Ramos
Our Washington Heights guide has more.
Behind the Scenes of In The Heights
In The Heights, a heartwarming new film directed by Jon M. Chu and adapted from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical of the same name, is a story about love and big dreams set in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. But long before this story was shared on stages or the big screen, Washington Heights, or simply “The Heights” to locals, was already a lively community of real New York City characters—many with deep roots throughout Latin America, especially Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Ecuador and Mexico.
With a neighborhood important to so many, it was crucial that the filmmakers stay true to the community. The result is a film that will resonate with not only those who are Latino but anyone who has grappled with the sense of belonging or had dreams bigger than themselves.
Click through for behind-the-scenes captures from the film, which will be in theaters and available on HBO Max on June 10.
“In The Heights” is a trademark of 5001 Broadway Productions, LLC and Barrio Grrrl! Productions, Inc.