In The Heights’ Olga Merediz And Jimmy Smits On The Impact Of Our Parents And Elders [Exclusive Interview]

While I know that elders have a special place in cultures all over the world. Growing up Latino, I always knew that if the Tias and Abuelas were cooking we were going to be in for a treat. One thing I always noticed was the power they had through amazing meals and stories that they were always able to bring everyone together. Young, old, and everyone in-between. It is in these comidas that a lot of knowledge is interchanged.

Something could also be said about our parents that in some cases put their lives on the line for a better opportunity in the United States. They work and work for years to try and give their families what they couldn’t have back in their counties. Hoping that their kids can grow up and be successful through good education and a great work ethic.

These “characters” are a few that are featured in the musical drama, In The Heights. It’s directed by Jon Chu from a screenplay by Quiara Alegria Hudes. Based on the stage musical by Hudes and Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda. It’s a beautiful celebration of Latin culture that covers several cultural and even political topics in a non-threatening musical environment.

Here is the synopsis for In The Heights:

Lights up on Washington Heights, a world very much of its place, but universal in its experience, where the streets are made of music and little dreams become big… The scent of a cafecito caliente hangs in the air just outside of the the181st Street subway stop, where a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies this vibrant and tight-knit community.  At the intersection of it all is the likeable, magnetic bodega owner Usnavi, who saves every penny from his daily grind as he hopes, imagines and sings about a better life.

ALSO SEE: INTERVIEW STEPHEN OYOUNG WANTS TO BE NAMOR & LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA TALKS IN THE HEIGHTS

With the release of In The Heights, LRM Online’s Emmanuel Gomez spoke with stars of the film Olga Merediz and Jimmy Smits. They play the roles that we talked about at the beginning of this piece. Merediz, plays the neighborhood Abuela named Claudia. She lovingly opens up her home to everyone for a place to relax and enjoy an amazing meal. Jimmy Smits plays Kevin Rosario, who will do whatever it takes for his daughter Nina to go to college. Even if it means sacrificing his life’s work.

During our interview, we talked about the importance of coming together. As well as how much a parent is willing to sacrifice for their kids and why. Merediz also comments on her fantastic musical number. You can check out the full interview down below!

Warner Bros.’ In The Heights hits theaters this Friday, June 11th, 2021. As well as HBO Max for 31 days.

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Emmanuel Gomez

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