21 Things You Should Know About Phillipa Soo

    History has its eye on her. ✨

    If you were part of the Hamilton hype, then you're definitely familiar with the very talented Phillipa Soo. A star both on stage and on screen, her next big project is One True Loves, a romance movie based on a novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

    Here are 21 interesting facts about Phillipa Soo:

    1. Phillipa Anne Soo was born in Libertyville, Illinois on May 31, 1990. She's a Gemini.

    2. Her nickname is Pippa.

    3. Phillipa's paternal grandparents moved from China to the US, and her dad is a first-generation American. Her mom was born and grew up in southern Illinois, just like Phillipa.

    4. However, she wasn't "considered an actor of color" until her role in Hamilton.

    She told the Hollywood Reporter, "I don't know why, but clearly it has something to do with the statement that we're making in our show, and that you're seeing so many different colors that you're thinking, 'Wait a minute, what is everybody?' ... Also, it hasn't been until now that I received this beautiful letter from this young woman who thanked me for representing Chinese American people in the theater. That's never happened to me before! But it's beautiful because I feel like as amazing as it is to acknowledge, it's also amazing on the other side that people don't even think twice about it [in Hamilton]."

    5. Her love for theater started early. Growing up in southern Illinois, she often traveled to Chicago to see new plays with her mom, and it inspired her to pursue an acting career.

    She told Dramatics, "I took dance classes, acting classes, singing classes, improv classes. From a young age, I was set on my career, ... Whether or not I 'made it' didn't matter. I wanted to live and make a living as an actor. That was always the goal."

    6. While her mom taught her to love the arts, her dad, who's a doctor, taught her to have a head for business.

    "My dad wanted to make sure I was working hard and doing everything I could to be the best at whatever I wanted to be. It's rare to have such a balanced household. I was lucky," she told Dramatics.

    7. She graduated from the prestigious drama program at Juilliard in 2012.

    She told Broadway World, "I definitely think, when coming out of Juilliard, I felt very vulnerable and had no idea what to expect in terms of when I would start working, or what types of jobs I would do, if I would end up in LA or stay in New York. And I found it surprising, but also really not surprising, that I would end up doing musical theater just because I do love music and theater so much, and telling a story through song was always a very important thing for me when I was in school. So I've been so glad that that's where my path has taken me."

    8. Her theater career took off almost instantly. Two months after graduating, she debuted as Natasha Rostova in the off-Broadway show Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. While watching the play, Hamilton director Thomas Kail noticed there was "something really incandescent" about her. Toward the end of that production, she was invited to read for Hamilton.

    Phillipa told the LA Times, "At that point, Lin[-Manuel Miranda] was writing Act 2 and wanted to hear it out loud. I really didn't know anything about Eliza and not much about Alexander Hamilton yet. But listening to the music, I was intrigued to know more. Plus, it was such a great room to be in."

    9. So far, Phillipa has originated three roles on Broadway, meaning she was the first actor to play them.

    Here are the roles:

    1. Eliza Schuyler Hamilton in Hamilton

    2. Amélie in Amélie: A New Musical

    3. Rebecca in The Parisian Woman

    She also originated roles in two Broadway revivals:

    1. Cinderella in Into the Woods

    2. Guenevere in Camelot

    10. She met her husband, Steven Pasquale, who's close friends with Lin-Manuel Miranda, while workshopping Hamilton. They got married on September 24, 2017.

    11. In 2020, she adopted her dog, Billie, around her birthday.

    She told the New York Times, "It was the best thing to happen in COVID times. Animals are so good for the heart and soul."

    12. Her favorite time of year is autumn because "of all the beautiful fall vegetables, and you can make soup."

    13. Phillipa's iconic performance as Eliza in Hamilton earned her a Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Musical in 2016. Reprising the role for the filmed Disney+ version earned her an Emmy nom for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie.

    14. While performing Hamilton, she always looked forward to Eliza's final moment in "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story," where, after Alexander's death, she gets to sing about her own accomplishments.

    Phillipa told the Hollywood Reporter, "[It] is very much a culmination of the entire three hours of experience, the entire 20 years we've just seen in the play, the entire rehearsal process — where we are in that very moment."

    15. In the very final moment of Hamilton, Eliza gasps. Though fans have interpreted it in different ways, Phillipa believes it's a combination of several of the most popular theories — Eliza getting to heaven, her reuniting with Alexander, and her seeing the audience and realizing their stories are being told.

    She told AOL's BUILD Series, "People are like, 'Is it Eliza going into heaven? Is she seeing Alexander? Is she seeing God? What is it?' And it’s kind of all of those things. Sometimes, it’s literally, I look out and I see the audience, and that’s what it is, but I think that idea of 'transcendence' is present in all of that."

    16. Playing Eliza inspired Phillipa to help carry out her legacy. In 2015, she teamed up with fellow original Hamilton cast member Morgan Marcell to create The Eliza Project, which brings the arts to the youth served by Graham Windham, the family services agency that evolved from the orphanage Eliza started.

    17. She used to keep her grandfather's coin, which is a replica of one from the timeframe Hamilton is set in, in her dressing room. Her mom had it turned into a necklace for her.

    18. She made her TV debut as Lexi, a minor character, in Smash, a (sadly) short-lived musical drama about theater professionals trying to put together new Broadway shows.

    19. If you listen closely to the Moana soundtrack, you can hear her singing! Phillipa voiced one of the villagers of Motunui.

    Lin-Manuel Miranda loves her voice so much that, between Hamilton performances, he asked her to record demos for the songs he was writing for the Disney film.

    20. She won two Grammys for Best Musical Theater Album — one for Hamilton in 2016 and another for Into the Woods in 2023.

    21. And finally, as an actor, she feels her job also makes her "a detective, archaeologist, and mystery solver."

    She told the LA Times, "I'm trying to look into each character and try to realize her as someone who is also me."

    If you want to follow along with what Phillipa's doing next, check out One True Loves, which releases in select theaters on April 7 and on digital April 14.