If you don’t know Phillipa Soo, you might want to do your homework: She plays possibly one of the most underrated people in American history in Broadway’s most talked about show, Hamilton. The beautiful Soo plays Eliza Hamilton, the wife of Alexander Hamilton, who – as the show makes audiences aware of – was responsible for telling Hamilton’s story after he was killed in the infamous duel with Aaron Burr (or as the character describes himself onstage – ‘the damn fool that shot him’). Hamilton is up for a record-breaking sixteen Tony Award nominations, one of which Soo is up for (best actress…obviously).
We’ve been obsessed with her and the show since we saw it in December – and became even more obsessed when we found out she is in fact a foodie. We chatted with her on everything from her ideal food day, to profit-sharing for the original actors in the show, to the upcoming November election. This is a post-holiday weekend must read.
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
My fiancé and I love our healthy weekly routine, but our favorite day is cheat day! That involves croissants with a sunny egg for breakfast, big lunches of gorgeous salads and sandwiches, a bowl of fresh homemade pasta with loads of cheese for dinner, and dessert involving peanut butter in the form of cake, cookie, or ice cream.
How do you practice beauty from the inside out?
During the week I try to stay away from dairy and gluten as much as possible, as well as steer away from processed foods. I even eat vegan for days at a time. Eating this way makes me feel great, however I am a huge foodie. I go by the “everything in moderation” rule. Sometimes there are things that are too good to pass up. Life is short! Sushi, burgers, pasta…bring it on!
I like to ride my bike, as well as take yoga to keep my mind and body happy. I just started adding circuit training to my routine and see a great difference in my strength. It is helping my yoga practice a great deal. My trainer is amazing. It’s my fiancé. I think I have a crush on him. Of all the things I do, I think the most important thing is to laugh as much as possible.
What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?
I use a natural face wash and moisturizer by Mad Hippie morning and night. At night I use a couple of drops of sweet almond oil on my face.
What’s been the biggest surprise for you so far in terms of your journey in Hamilton?
I have been most surprised by our fans. Some of whom are five years old and younger.
Why do you think it resonates so well with so many people?
It’s a beautiful story. Lin [Manuel Miranda] has captured the heart of the American experience told through the voice of today’s America. I think it makes us all feel more connected and more human.
Do you find it relevant in terms of what’s going on now in the US regarding the election?
As the election is approaching, it is important to remember that we are the future of our country. Although it may seem like our voices get lost in the fray, we can make ourselves heard. Exercise your right to vote!
Did you do a lot of research in preparing for the role? How so?
I went to the orphanage that Eliza established, which still exists today. It’s called Graham Windham and they do amazing work for families and kids in New York. I wanted to see what Eliza put her life’s work into. It was incredibly inspiring and humbling to meet and work with the Graham Windham community.
What was your first reaction to the profit-sharing for original actors? Do you think that will pave the way for other shows on Broadway?
I was really happy for all of us. I’m grateful to be a part of this conversation in our community. I think it’s important to consider the actor’s contribution in the development of new work.
How do you prepare every night before the show?
I need to do a little warm up, and make sure that I have had plenty of water throughout the day.
What do you usually do after the show?
If I’m not going out with friends, I’m heading home to rest up for the next day.
Do you try to bring something new to every performance? How so?
Being in a long run of a show is difficult, but the minute I release myself of the pressure to “keep it fresh” I just remember to have fun.
Did you have a favorite founding father growing up? Who was it?
When I was growing up, founding fathers weren’t as cool as they are today.
Your go to dinner before or after the show…
What are some restaurants in Times Square that aren’t so square?
New York has some of the best food in the world, however I don’t think much of it is in Times Square. Go to Hells Kitchen, go to Harlem, go to the West Village. Let Times Square be what it is – tons of flashing lights and dozens of people dressed as Elmo.
How do you always start your day? What’s your go to breakfast?
Most mornings I have a green smoothie with my whole day’s worth of fruit and veggies, followed by some gluten-free avocado toast topped with some sea salt and olive oil.
What’s always in your dressing room?
Tea and chocolate.
Do you snack at intermission?
Most of the time, yes. Usually in the form of tea and chocolate. If not that, a grapefruit.
Can you give us a hint as to what you’re wearing to the Tony Awards?
In the same vein as what is the new black in fashion, what’s the new potato right now?
Is avocado the new cheese?
Phillipa Soo, photographed at The Skylark in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann