Reneé Elise Goldsberry is stunned at how “Hamilton” keeps paying career dividends. Five years after winning a Tony for starring in the hit Broadway musical, the filmed version is now a major contender at the Emmys — with Goldsberry among the nominees.
“Sometimes I wake up and pinch myself,” Goldsberry says of her Emmy nomination in the supporting actress in a limited or anthology series or movie category for “Hamilton.” Despite having three chances at landing a nomination, she says she never saw it coming. But in this episode of the Awards Circuit Podcast, Goldsberry calls it a “gift from God.” Listen below!
Goldsberry, who originated the “Hamilton” role of Angelica Schuyler on Broadway, wasn’t just surprised about her nomination. “Hamilton” received an astounding 12 nominations from the Television Academy: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr. earned nods in the lead actor in a limited or anthology series or movie category for their performances as Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, respectively; other nods included editing, sound mixing and tech directing.
“It’s just because of the amount of time it had been since it came out and I just didn’t think anybody remembered or cared,” she admits.
While Goldsberry says she’s thrilled that the show has been preserved and captured for audiences to enjoy for years to come, she would have liked to have seen the film have a theatrical release as planned. But the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans, and the film instead moved to Disney Plus, where quarantined viewers were able to watch it last July.
“Something was more important, giving art into the summer of 2020 was a beautiful thing to do,” she says. “I literally get choked up when I think about how special it is to allow us to have another opportunity to come together and just hug each other and celebrate something that we’re so truly proud of.”
“Hamilton” continues to resonate, and Goldsberry says she continues to hear from new fans – of all ages.
“A friend texted me and it’s a little Black girl who is full on dressed up as Angelica Schuyler, and she is embracing this television. There’s an image on the TV singing ‘Satisfied’ and there’s a closeup of me,” Goldsberry says. “It felt like being a Disney princess that different little girls and boys could see themselves in. Even with the corset on, there was something there that they could identify with and, and that probably hit me the strongest.”
Recalling her greatest anxiety while performing, Goldsberry says it wasn’t the “Satisfied” rap. It’s the ending of the song where Alexander Hamilton and Eliza, along with the cast are frozen on stage, and Angelica has given up the love of her life to her sister.
“They start moving on, kissing and going off into the sunset and I am standing there alone on a stage,” she says. “It used to be really hard to make sound. After emotionally experiencing that moment – I had to sing the loudest and the highest. It was the highest pitched emotionally as well. I used to be concerned that sound wouldn’t come.” She says that if she could make it to that point of the show, she could chill out and enjoy the rest of it. If she ever writes her autobiography, Goldsberry jokes that it will be called “After Satisfied.”
Post-“Hamilton,” Goldsberry has been on a career trajectory. She’s one of the stars of “Girls5Eva,” and also upcoming has the “She-Hulk” TV series and “What If?” from fellow Emmy nominee Billy Porter.
Also on this episode of the Awards Circuit Podcast, Variety co-editor-in-chief Cynthia Littleton joins Michael Schneider, Jazz Tangcay and Danielle Turchiano to discuss this year’s Emmy nominations in the key drama acting categories and talk about her Varietycover story featuring Stephen Colbert
Variety’s Emmy edition of the “Awards Circuit” podcast is hosted by Michael Schneider, Jazz Tangcay and Danielle Turchiano and is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in television. Each week during Emmy season, “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Thursday.