So, what’s harder: learning legal jargon for a courtroom scene, or rapping the epic Hamilton song “Guns and Ships” (which Diggs manages in 6.3 words per second)? “Legal jargon is way harder,” he admits with a laugh. “The thing about rhymes is that there aren’t many options. There’s only a few words to the rhymes you rapped two beats ago so it sort of teaches itself. For me, it’s been such an experience to watch how these folks work and watch how they really are living in the moment. Rehearsing a play is a different thing. So they’re crafting these moments, you’re learning as you do it. Definitely, it is easier for me to learn a rap song than remember how to cross-examine which witness at what time.”
And although Ramos doesn’t rap at nearly the same insane speed that Diggs does in the musical, he’s in agreement. “Learning lines for scenes is so much harder for me than learning a song,” he says. “You give me a song, and I’ll sit with it, and there’s rhythm. Everything has rhythm, even when you speak there’s a rhythm, but it’s more scattered. So if that word comes on that accent, you can just say the words on the accent and people will still understand what the rap is about, and then it’s just about finding the words in between. But when you’re learning lines, that’s a whole other beast.”
Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Eva Longoria, and Elizabeth Banks got together and dished on everything from being a woman in Hollywood to wage gaps and social media for our Beyond Beautiful issue.