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Here's Why Leslie Odom, Jr. Almost Said No To The 'Hamilton' Movie

Here's Why Leslie Odom, Jr. Almost Said No To The 'Hamilton' Movie

Leslie Odom, Jr almost wasn’t in the Hamilton movie on Disney+.

The 39-year-old actor, who originated the role of Aaron Burr in the stage production, opened up about why he hesitated in saying yes to star in the movie over pay equity.

“They came to me with an offer and you know, ‘Leslie, we’re shooting tomorrow.’ I’m like, here’s the thing: This is it. This is my area of expertise. This is all I have. This is my life’s work on the stage, too. And so I just can’t sell it away for magic beans. I can’t give it away,” he recalled when speaking with Dax Shephard on his Armchair Expert podcast (via).

Leslie continued, “So I can ask CAA (Creative Artists Agency), ‘What does my white counterpart, what does Aaron Tveit make to do Grease Live! on TV? What does he make to do Grease? This is Hamilton live, right?”

“When I found out what he made, I didn’t ask for a penny more. I didn’t ask for one penny more, but I said, ‘You must pay me exactly what that white boy got to do Grease Live!’ That’s the bottom line.”

Leslie was adamant about pay equity for the movie and didn’t settle for anything less.

“The day before we shot that movie I called out. I was not kidding,” he added. “I was not coming to work the next day to do the movie. You know, I was not kidding. It was a principle for me and sometimes it doesn’t work out. Sometimes they look at you and go, ‘We’re just not paying it,’ and you have to go, ‘That’s OK.’”

Leslie won a Tony award for his performance as Burr in 2016.

If you missed it, you can see just how many people watched the production on Disney+ during its’ opening weekend.

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Photos: Disney Plus
Posted to: Hamilton, Leslie Odom Jr

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