In the Heights: who stars and where have you seen them before?

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s new musical adaptation In the Heights is here with a much-needed dose of feel-good spirit. Miranda’s 2008 Broadway production sashays its way onto the big screen, bringing us the story of the hopes, dreams and aspirations of a close-knit Manhattan community. If you’ve found yourself asking, where have I seen [insert actor] before, we’re here to help.


Anthony Ramos (plays Usnavi)

Ramos’ presence in the movie isn’t hard to explain. He originated the dual roles of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton in Miranda’s soon-to-be-world-conquering stage smash Hamilton. Ramos demonstrated his versatility with his performances as statesman Laurens and Alexander Hamilton’s first-born child Philip.

Stefanie Beatriz (plays Carla)

Beatriz is best known for her role as sardonic, no-nonsense detective Rosa Diaz in the award-winning comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Miranda made an appearance in one episode, and we imagine that assisted Beatriz in getting cast in In the Heights.

Leslie Grace (plays Nina)

Miranda sought out several rising musical stars, including Leslie Grace who has released several albums of Latin pop, including Leslie Grace (2013), which reached number four on the Billboard Latin Albums chart.

Corey Hawkins (plays Benny)

Hawkins first made an impression playing Dr Dre in hard-hitting N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton, an exploration of the seminal and controversial gangster rap collective. Hawkins’ rap skills are again put to use in In the Heights, although the context is understandably very different.

Melissa Barrera (plays Vanessa)

Mexican actor Barrera has starred in several successful Mexican ‘telenovas’ (soap operas), and In the Heights is her highest-profile project to date, not to mention her first English-language movie.

Olga Merediz (plays Abuela Claudia)

It’s not all about the youngsters. A sense of heritage is vital in connecting the movie adaptation of In the Heights to its stage origins. Hence the presence of stage veteran Olga Merediz who originated the role of Abuela Claudia in the original Broadway production, securing a Tony nomination in the process.

Daphne Rubin-Vega (plays Daniela)

Dancer and songwriter Rubin-Vega is a natural with Miranda’s signature rap style, but then you’d expect it. She’s a veteran of numerous Broadway and off-Broadway shows including Rent and Jack Goes Boating. She also got to perform ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ as Fantine in Les Miserables.

Gregory Diaz IV (plays Sonny)

Having played the role of Quentin in Netflix hit Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Diaz now makes the leap onto the big screen. He also played the role of Bruce Swing in the Broadway production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda.

Jimmy Smits (plays Kevin)

Smits is most famous for playing Leia’s father Bail Organa in the Star Wars franchise. He’s also a veteran of hit TV shows such as L.A. Law and NYPD Blue, and appeared in two episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Click here to book your tickets for In the Heights, on release now in Cineworld.