Leslie Grace on Gravity-Defying Dance Numbers From ‘In the Heights’

Latin Grammy nominee and Bronx native Leslie Grace talks gravity-defying dance numbers, frozen desserts, and starring as Nina in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop musical-turned-movie, In the Heights. But initially, the principles:

  • Age: 26
  • Lottery ticket or scratch-off? Scratch-off!
  • Preferred work out? My mom loves some Zumba. She often drags me to class.
  • Tracks to get pumped? Straight-up Marc Anthony.


When you first satisfied Lin-Manuel, ended up you extra Billboard-charting singer or theater nerd?

Nerd all the way. I did not want to get started a conversation with him because I did not know if I’d be in a position to keep my close up. Then I achieved Lin, and he’s as similarly warm as he is good. And we filmed in his Washington Heights neighborhood, so he introduced all the homie vibes to the established.

The regional bodega is at the coronary heart of this tale. What is your corner store go-to?

All the sweet. I want the Blow Pop, the Ring Pop. I’ll add Fritos. And a lotto ticket for Grandma.

What In the Heights lyric do strangers randomly sing at you the most?

“Piragua, piragua.” Anybody who seriously understands the Heights will begin singing that music.

There’s a pivotal scene where by Lin, who plays “Piragua Person,” fights with Mr. Softee. But, fess up, do you get shaved ice or a cone?

I’m not going to lie. I enjoy me some piragua. But occasionally I’ll cheat and have a Mr. Softee. 1 day after we finished shooting the variety “Breathe,” my co-stars and I took the long way close to the block to get back to our trailers. This lady acknowledged me…and there was an ice cream truck. She dealt with and we all experienced ice cream with sprinkles. But if Lin was there, he wouldn’t be pleased.

Steal nearly anything from the set?

You know, I did. I took a little bead necklace that Nina wore. My mom has it saved. And an ear cuff that was trapped to my ear for the “When the Sun Goes Down” quantity. I could not have earrings that did not search gravity-much less when we’re dancing on the side of a making. That illusion is nuts. There had been no harnesses, just us dancing. We held placement for a specified sum of time so you do not detect that the facet of the constructing, the set, was actually tilting.

Looks like you took around the Heights with hundreds of dancers each and every day.

The vitality was outstanding. Specifically the “Carnaval del Barrio” scene. It was one of the proudest days of my lifestyle. There’s this second when Lin’s up on the fire escape. He’s hunting down like a proud father at this group of dancers of distinct shades and origins celebrating their nationality. Their roots. We exploded out of that power. All the delight you see in that number is genuine. We saved on shouting for 20 minutes just after the director, John Chu, yelled slice.

There’s a rather good Dominican meals porn sequence, too.

Oh person, I enjoy me some mangú. I appreciate mofongo. And I know there’s discussion regardless of whether it’s Dominican or Puerto Rican. But my most loved is the classic rice, beans, and chicken. Which is my convenience foodstuff, and now I’m obtaining hungry.

You moved to Florida when you had been younger. So…Yankees or Marlins enthusiast?

Yankees woman all the way. My grandma’s very first condominium was at 161st Avenue and Walton Avenue in the Bronx. We would observe the games at the outdated Yankee Stadium from the fireplace escape.

How do you keep your Leslie-From-the-Block mind-set?

My mother gives it to me straight. The forged and I have all been declaring that we couldn’t have even dreamt of getting in this film. My parents have no strategy what it implies but. They’re like, “Oh, you are dancing and singing in a movie? Ok. Why is it getting so extensive to arrive out?!”

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