On the Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard podcast, Leslie Odom Jr. — who originated the role of Aaron Burr in Hamilton, for which he won the Best Actor in a Musical Tony and a Best Musical Theater Album Grammy — talked about nearly refusing to participate in the Disney+ version because of a last-minute, lowball offer.
He was still in negotiations until the night before filming because, Leslie says, "no one had called my agent to ask if I'd wanted to do [the filmed play]. It was assumed that we wanted to do the movie and that we would do it for a certain number."
Leslie asked his agent to find out how much Aaron Tveit was paid for his role as Danny in Grease: Live on Fox earlier in the year, and demanded the same fee.
"This is my area of expertise," he says. "This is my life's work, this is all I have. This is my life's work on the stage. I can't give it away."
He goes on to say, "This is Hamilton! So when I found out how much [Aaron] made, I didn't ask for a penny more, but I said, 'You must pay me exactly what that white boy got to do Grease: Live.'"
Leslie talked more in-depth about racism and pay in the theater industry, and fighting for profit-sharing for Hamilton's cast (many of whom were essentially co-creators of the show), in a June interview with the LA Times.
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