Javier Muñoz (actor)

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Javier Muñoz
Renée Elise Goldsberry and Javier Muñoz in Hamilton costume, July 2015.jpg
Javier Muñoz with castmate Renée Elise Goldsberry in costume for Hamilton
NationalityPuerto Rican American
Alma materNew York University (BFA)
  • Actor
  • singer
Known for

Javier Muñoz is an American actor and singer. He is best known for his performances on Broadway as Usnavi de la Vega in the 2008 musical In the Heights and as Alexander Hamilton in the 2015 musical Hamilton, in which he played the title role from July 11, 2016, until January 14, 2018.

Early life and education[edit]

Muñoz, the son of a Puerto Rican family, grew up in the Linden Projects[1] in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York.[2][3] He was the youngest of four boys, all of whom shared their father's artistic inclinations, although he was the only one to go on to pursue a professional career in the arts.[1]

He attended Brooklyn's Edward R. Murrow High School where he participated in the drama club known as the Players' Circle,[2] then earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at New York University, where he was part of the CAP 21 acting program.[2][4][5]


Muñoz's early roles include Ziad, the "best friend" in Kari Floren's The Porch at Altered Stages in New York,[6] and roles in other off-Broadway productions.[7] He was in the 2006 New York Musical Theatre Festival's off-Broadway show All Is Love, and had abandoned acting to accept a full-time job as a manager at the restaurant 4412 in Hell's Kitchen, when he auditioned for the musical In the Heights.[2] He landed a role that was cut from the show during rehearsals, but he stayed on as a member of the ensemble.[2]

On February 16, 2009, Muñoz took the male lead of Usnavi de la Vega in the Broadway cast of In the Heights.[8][9] Theater critic Robert Feldberg wrote that he preferred Muñoz in the role originated by Miranda, pointing out that the romance between Usnavi and Vanessa seemed more "believable" and that in putting across the main storyline in a way that Miranda had been unable to do, Muñoz turned the star vehicle into an "emotionally persuasive" ensemble performance.[10]

In 2015 Muñoz began performing as alternate for the role of Alexander Hamilton in the Broadway production Hamilton. By spring 2016, Muñoz appeared in the role originated by Lin-Manuel Miranda every Sunday and on weekdays whenever Miranda needed to be elsewhere on a weekday.[11][12][13][14][15] Muñoz played the role of Hamilton the night President Barack Obama brought his family to watch the show.[16][17] New York Times theatre critic Ben Brantley noted Muñoz's role subbing for Miranda in the role of Hamilton, stating "the cutting carnal edge of Mr. Muñoz's performance may slightly alter the production's chemistry, especially between Hamilton and Angelica Schuyler, his intellectual equal and sister-in-law."[18]

On July 11, 2016, Muñoz assumed the title role in Hamilton from Miranda full-time.[19] He took a leave of absence due to an injury in February 2017, and was temporarily replaced by Jevon McFerrin until his return on March 21, 2017.[20]

In 2017, he was added to the panel of Justin Baldoni's talk show, Man Enough.[21]

On August 2, 2017, Muñoz made a guest appearance in a musical skit on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.[22] In the skit, Muñoz played the role of an immigrant affected by Kris Kobach's anti-immigration efforts.[23][24]

Muñoz was announced as a guest star with a recurring role in the third season (2018) of Shadowhunters.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Muñoz is a cancer survivor and has lived with HIV since 2002. He is gay.[26]

On October 15, 2017, Muñoz became part of the #MeToo movement by posting on Twitter in response to Alyssa Milano's call for all who had been sexually harassed or assaulted to join and speak up to bring publicity to the problem.[27] His statement gave no details other than that he had been a victim multiple times.[27]

In March, 2018, Muñoz received backlash following several tweets where he lashed out with explicit language seemingly unprovoked at fans, including one who had simply asked "are you okay."[28] He issued a public apology in April 2018, noting the phrasing of that tweet caused him to recall a recent incident where he had received an anonymous hate note at his building, which had been causing him a significant amount of fear and distress.[29][28][30]



Year Title Role Notes
2013 The House That Jack Built Hector
Papa's Prince Javier / Prince Short film
2021 In the Heights Washington Heights resident Cameo
2022 Three Months Dr. Diaz


Year Title Role Notes
2016 Odd Mom Out Waiter Episode: "Hamming It Up"
2017 Quantico Gabriel Carrera Episode: "JMPALM"
Blindspot Marc Gelman Episode: "Draw O Caesar, Erase a Coward"
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Becky City Man Episode: "August 2, 2017"
2018–2019 Shadowhunters Lorenzo Rey 7 episodes
2018 Elena of Avalor Duke Cristobal (voice) Episode: "Song of The Sirenas"
2022 Eureka! Ohm (voice) Main role

Theatre credits[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2008–09 In the Heights Ensemble / Usnavi de la Vega (standby) Richard Rodgers Theatre
2009 Usnavi de la Vega
2009–10 National tour
2015–16 Hamilton Alexander Hamilton (alternate) Richard Rodgers Theatre
2016–18 Alexander Hamilton
2022 The Devil Wears Prada Nigel James M. Nederlander Theatre

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Quinn, Dave (July 11, 2016). "Who Is Javier Munoz? 5 Things to Know About the 'Hamilton' Star". People. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Hernandez, Lee (February 10, 2009). "'In The Heights' creator names bodeguero heir". Daily News. New York City. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  3. ^ Kaye, Kimberley (19 February 2009). "Javier Muñoz Interview". Broadway.com. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  4. ^ "Javier Muñoz". Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  5. ^ Kahn, Jessica (November 30, 2015). "Hamilton's Javier Munoz Nabs 'Sexy' New York Times Review". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  6. ^ Midgette, Anne (June 13, 2006). "Unexpected Guests, and Results, in 'The Porch' (review)". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  7. ^ Horn, Miriam (May 31, 2005). "Secrets (Gasp) In the 1950s (review)". The New York Times. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  8. ^ Jones, Kenneth (January 30, 2009). "Javier Muñoz Graduates to Star of In the Heights on Feb. 16". Playbill. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  9. ^ "Javier Munoz Brings His 'Usnavi' IN THE HEIGHTS". BroadwayWorld. February 16, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  10. ^ Feldberg, Robert (August 16, 2009). "Recast puts new spin on 'Heights'". Bergen County, New Jersey: The Record.
  11. ^ Goldstein, Jessica (November 12, 2015). "Javier Muñoz on What It's Like to Play Alexander Hamilton When Lin-Manuel Miranda Isn't". Vulture.com. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  12. ^ Gans, Andrew (July 6, 2015). "Lin-Manuel Miranda's Alternate Will Play Title Role in Hamilton Once a Week". Playbill. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  13. ^ Purcell, Carey (August 10, 2015). "Meet Hamilton's Other Leading Man, Standing By for Lin-Manuel Miranda for More Than Ten Years". Playbill. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  14. ^ Wexler, Matthew (August 8, 2015). "Does Broadway's Hamilton Shine Without Its Star?". Gothamist.com. Archived from the original on November 8, 2015. Retrieved December 5, 2021.
  15. ^ Henry, Sally (October 18, 2015). "HAMILTON's Javier Munoz Featured in Latest Photo Using 1800s Lens". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  16. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (July 18, 2015). "Starring on Broadway, Obama and Alexander Hamilton". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  17. ^ Ramsey, Nick (July 18, 2015). "Obama attends matinee performance of Broadway's 'Hamilton'". MSNBC. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  18. ^ Brantley, Ben (December 1, 2015). "The Same Founding Father's New Vibe". New York Times.
  19. ^ Marks, Peter (June 16, 2016). "Hurry up, 'Hamilton' fans: Lin-Manuel Miranda announces departure date from show". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  20. ^ McPhee, Ryan (March 20, 2017). "Javier Muñoz Sets Date for Return to Hamilton on Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  21. ^ Romano, Nick (October 18, 2017). "Justin Baldoni's talk show lands Derek Hough, Hamilton's Javier Muñoz". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  22. ^ "Kris Kobach's Racist Music Man | August 2, 2017 Act 2 | Full Frontal on TBS". YouTube. August 2, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  23. ^ Czachor, Emily Mae (August 3, 2017). "Watch Samantha Bee skewer Kris Kobach as the 'racist music man'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  24. ^ Leight, Elias (August 4, 2017). "See Samantha Bee Call Kris Kobach a 'Racist Music Man' in Spoof". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  25. ^ Connolly, Kelly (October 7, 2017). "Javier Muñoz, Anna Hopkins to guest on Shadowhunters". Entertainment Weekly. Meredith Corporation. Archived from the original on December 29, 2017.
  26. ^ "The New Star Of "Hamilton" Is Gay, HIV-Positive And Faced Down Cancer. Broadway Should Be A Snap". New Now Next. July 2016.
  27. ^ a b Thomas, Chris (October 16, 2017). "#MeToo: Javier Muñoz, Alyssa Milano & Thousands More Share Stories of Sexual Harassment". Out. Archived from the original on December 26, 2017.
  28. ^ a b "Javier Munoz Shares Apology and Explanation Following Social Media Incident". BroadwayWorld. April 20, 2018. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  29. ^ "Hamilton Actor Javier Muñoz Forced To Go Into Hiding After Targeted Harassment Following Mike Pence Visit". Perez Hilton. April 20, 2018. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  30. ^ Muñoz, Javier [@JMunozActor] (April 20, 2018). "Public statement and apology. This was not filtered through an agent, manager, nor a PR manager. These words are all mine and mine alone. Thank you" (Tweet). Retrieved May 11, 2019 – via Twitter.

External links[edit]