5 Tony Nominees on Their Standing O-Worthy Roles
The 2016 Tony nominees have been announced and we're beyond excited to see a few familiar faces top the list. InStyle's April cover girl Lupita Nyong'o snagged a nod for her turn in Eclipsed, as did our April Man of Style Jonathan Groff for his royal role in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, Hamilton.
The Revolution-era hip-hop hit, which is up for a total of 16 awards including Best Musical, was also recognized in the Lead Actress category (Phillipa Soo) and Featured Actress category (Reneé Elise Goldsberry), both of whom are featured in InStyle's June issue, along with their co-star and fellow Schuyler sister, Jasmine Cephas Jones.
To celebrate their nominations, we're calling encore and looking back on our time with the talented bunch. Scroll down to see the photos from our shoots and exactly what they told us about their standing O-worthy roles.
Even though Groff was previously nominated for a Tony for his role in Spring Awakening, he told us that that being a part of Hamilton has been an entirely different experience. “I think this will probably be the only moment in my life when everyone is dying to see the stage show that I'm a part of,” said Groff, who is nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical. "I keep reminding myself that 99 percent of the time I'm begging people to come see the play I'm in. Like, 'Hey, everyone, here's the code for discounted tickets.' For his role of King George, Groff dons a wig, a fur cape, and a crown, which took some getting used to. “The first crown I wore on stage was so heavy, I couldn't even move my neck,” he said. “If I dipped my head to one side, I would lose my balance and fall over.”
The star helped make history on the Great White Way in Danai Gurira's play, Eclipsed, a role she understudied in as a student at Yale Repertory Theatre. “It's the first play on Broadway that is written by, directed by, and starring all women,” said Nyong'o, who is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play. “That's no small feat. It's huge.” The story itself is also inspirational, following five women in Liberia who are brought together by upheaval. “It speaks so honestly about those women's experiences, about the experience of war, and about community and sisterhood at times of strain,” she said.
Reneé Elise Goldsberry, Phillipa Soo, and Jasmine Cephas Jones
“During their time, these women were cultural royalty,” said Goldsberry (left), of Hamilton's buzzed-about Schuyler sisters, Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy. “I like to think we're bringing a bit of Sasha and Malia Obama into the 1700s because our characters are from such a prominent political family—they're the daughters of a general.” The costumes worn in the musical are also as delightfully pitch perfect as the score. “At the beginning, we're all wearing parchment shades, but then the Schuyler sisters switch into three very distinct colors—yellow, green, and gold—that are indicative of their own personalities,” said Soo (center). “As our characters' lives diverge, so do their fashion choices. The costumes are a road map of their journeys,” she said. Added Cephas Jones (right): “As Peggy, I wear a yellow corset made of shiny, bright material—these women are very bold.”