Phillipa Soo can sing, she can dance, and she can beatbox, as
she holds her own opposite Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator and star of Hamilton,
the groundbreaking hip-hop musical about Alexander Hamilton.
EXCLUSIVE: Meet the 2016 Tony Nominees!
As Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton -- one of three Schuyler
sisters played by Soo, Renee Elise Goldsberry (Angelica) and Jasmine Cephas
Jones (Peggy) -- the 26-year-old actor brings levity and romance to the show as
the unsuspecting desire of the founding father, eventually becoming his wife.
And the three women together bring a much-needed R&B influence to the
While Soo gets a moment to show off her pipes (“Burn”), it’s
not all ballads as the Schuyler sisters bring some Destiny’s Child-like
fierceness to the stage, with the actress even jumping at the chance to live
out her “secret dream” of beatboxing. “When the opportunity presented itself, I
was so excited to learn to beatbox,” Soo, who earned her first Tony nomination
for the role, tells ET. “I’m definitely not as good as people who consider
MORE: 'Hamilton' Dominates the Tony Awards With 16 Nominations -- Check Out the Complete List!
Not only did she learn to beatbox, Soo also picked up some
rap skills backstage at The Public Theater, where the show originated before
going to Broadway. There was a moment when Soo, Miranda, and Daveed Diggs
(Marquis de Lafayette / Thomas Jefferson) were all backstage together and they
would freestyle to one of the numbers, “The Room Where It Happens.” “Lin and
Daveed were amazing and then I would jump in, and sometimes I would totally
nail it,” Soo says, “and then sometimes it would totally flop.”
“However, I will say, I can definitely throw down a sick
beat once in a while and provide an amazing backup track for somebody who can really,
actually freestyle,” the actress says, defending her hip-hop skills.