For those of us unlucky enough to never get the chance to see Hamilton (or for those on a months-long waiting list), the news of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s June departure from his brainchild-turned-cultural-phenomenon hit hard. Sure, he’s got some projects lined up, so we won’t miss him for long. He’s already slated to play opposite Emily Blunt in the Disney remake Mary Poppins Returns, and he’s “heavily involved” in the film adaptation of his other musical In the Heights.
But something that will be lost forever is that old Alexander Hamilton staple: his ponytail. In an interview with GQ, Lin-Manuel was asked, “What was it like cutting off your ponytail?”
It was like returning to myself, to me, who I’ve always been, after two years of wearing it. I couldn’t take the train for a while. I’d see people recognizing — and you know what it’s like? It’s like in Inception, the moment when you’re aware in a dream and everyone walking down the street goes [looks slowly around, wide-eyed]. Now that my hair is off, and I look less like The Guy in the Thing, my life’s been a little easier.
Easier for him, maybe. But what about those of us who want to gawk at a famous person walking down the street or riding the subway? It gets complicated. Lin-Manuel continues:
Yesterday I took the train uptown, and I’m in this crowded 1 train, and this teenage girl next to me goes, “You look exactly like Lin-Manuel Miranda,” and I go, “I know. I get that a lot.” And she goes, “You even sound like him.” And I go, “I’ve been getting that all year.” I felt bad about lying to her, but it was a really crowded train and there was not a lot to be done.
With any luck, Lin-Manuel will still be recognizable and his legendary ponytail will still be intact for his upcoming episode of Drunk History. Or at least he’ll be wearing a wig. Change is hard.