Phillipa Soo

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Phillipa Soo
Phillipa Soo, White House, March 2016 (cropped).jpg
Soo at the White House in 2016
Born
Phillipa Anne Soo

(1990-05-31) May 31, 1990 (age 31)[1]
EducationJuilliard School (BFA)
OccupationActress
Years active2012–present
Spouse(s)
(m. 2017)

Phillipa Anne Soo[a] (born May 31, 1990) is an American actress. Soo is best known for originating the role of Eliza Hamilton in the Broadway musical Hamilton, a performance which earned her a nomination for a 2016 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album in the same year.[2][3][4] She also originated the role of Natasha Rostova in the off-Broadway production of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 in 2012 and the title role in the Broadway production of Amélie in 2017. Most recently, Soo appeared on Broadway in The Parisian Woman, which ran from November 2017 to March 2018. She appeared in the film Over the Moon playing the voice of Chang'e.[5] In 2021, she received a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role in a Limited Series or Movie for her performance in the Disney+ live stage recording of Hamilton which was released in 2020.

Early life and education[edit]

Soo was born in Libertyville, Illinois to a white American mother and a Chinese American father. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Soo spoke about her upbringing: "In terms of my own experience, my dad is first-generation, so his parents were from China, and my mom was born and raised in southern Illinois, and she was involved in the arts. My dad's a doctor. I was very much always encouraged [to pursue an acting career], but the mentality of 'get your education' was still there."[1]

Soo attended Libertyville High School in suburban Chicago from 2004 to 2008.[6] Soo graduated from The Juilliard School's acting program in 2012.[7]

Acting career[edit]

Theater[edit]

After graduating from Juilliard in 2012, Soo was cast as Natasha Rostova in the Ars Nova production of Dave Malloy's Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, based on Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. The show went on to transfer from Ars Nova to another Off-Broadway space, Kazino, a tent custom-built for the show.

Soo (left) performs with Hamilton castmates at the White House

After seeing her performance in Great Comet, director Thomas Kail and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda asked her to take part in an early 2014 reading of the musical Hamilton, where she read as the leading female role, "Eliza" (Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton). Soo remained with the show through its Off-Broadway and Broadway debuts. She received a 2016 Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, along with Laura Benanti, Carmen Cusack, Jessie Mueller, and winner Cynthia Erivo.[8] Soo played her final performance in Hamilton on July 9, 2016, and the role of Eliza was taken over by Lexi Lawson.[9]

Soo appeared in the title role in the pre-Broadway engagement of Amélie at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles from December 2016 to January 2017. Amélie then began preview performances on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre on March 9, 2017, opening officially on April 3.[10][11] The show closed on May 21, 2017.[12]

Soo also appeared on Broadway as Rebecca in The Parisian Woman, an original play by Beau Willimon. The production began preview performances at the Hudson Theatre on November 7, 2017, and opened on November 30 for a limited run through March 11, 2018.[13]

Film and television[edit]

In 2013 she was cast in a small recurring role in the NBC television series Smash as the character Lexi. She appeared in five episodes in the second season before the show's cancellation.[14] She had a small supporting role as Nia in the 2014 television pilot Dangerous Liaisons, but it did not get picked up to series.[15]

In 2018 it was announced that Soo had been cast in the CBS series The Code.[16] The show aired for one season before its cancellation in July 2019.[17] In 2021, she received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie nomination for her performance in the Disney+ live stage recording of Hamilton which was released in 2020.

Philanthropy[edit]

Inspired by Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, the character she played in Hamilton, Soo started the Eliza Project initiative in partnership with Graham Windham, the first private orphanage in New York City that is mentioned at the end of the show. Through the program, Soo plans to provide students at the Graham School with acting, dancing, and rap workshops. According to Soo, the core mission of "The Eliza Project" is "to use the arts as a means of expression, as an outlet for personal experience, and to uplift the creative spirit."[18]

Personal life[edit]

Soo became engaged to actor Steven Pasquale in February 2016.[19] They married on September 24, 2017.[20] In 2019, the two starred opposite each other in an episode of The Code.[21] She has a dog named Billie, which she adopted for her 30th birthday in 2020.[22]

Acting credits[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2013 Keep The Change Karen Short film
2016 Moana Additional voices
2018 Here and Now Oona
2020 Hamilton Eliza Hamilton Filmed recording of 2016 Broadway musical
The One and Only Ivan Thelma (voice)
The Broken Hearts Gallery Nadine
Over the Moon Chang'e (voice)

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2013 Smash Lexi 5 episodes
2014 Dangerous Liaisons Nia Television film
2019 The Code Lieutenant Harper Li 13 episodes
2021 The Bite Cydni Estereo 6 episodes
TBA Dopesick Amber

Theatre[edit]

Year(s) Production Role Location Category
2012 Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Natasha Rostova Ars Nova Off-off-Broadway
2013–14 Kazino Meatpacking District Off-Broadway
2015 Hamilton Eliza Hamilton The Public Theater Off-Broadway
2015–16 Richard Rodgers Theatre Broadway
2016–17 Amélie Amélie Poulain Ahmanson Theatre Regional, Pre-Broadway
2017 Walter Kerr Theatre Broadway
2017–18 The Parisian Woman Rebecca Hudson Theatre Broadway
2020 Tumacho Catalina Vucovich-Villalobos Connelly Theater Off-Broadway

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2013 Drama League Awards Distinguished Performance Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 Nominated
2014 Lucille Lortel Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical Nominated
2015 Hamilton Won
Clarence Derwent Awards Most Promising Female Performer Won
2016 Tony Awards Best Actress in a Musical Nominated
Grammy Awards Best Musical Theater Album Won
Broadway.com Audience Awards Favorite Breakthrough Performance (Female) Won
Favorite Onstage Pair (with Lin-Manuel Miranda) Nominated
Favorite Leading Actress in a Musical Won
2017 Amélie Nominated
2018 Favorite Featured Actress in a Play The Parisian Woman Won
2020 Critics' Choice Super Awards Best Voice Actress in an Animated Movie Over the Moon Nominated [23]
2021 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie Hamilton Nominated

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Pronounced /ˈfɪlɪpə s/.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Asian Actors Onstage: Lea Salonga, Phillipa Soo Sound Off on Broadway, Eliza Schuyler Representation, Cultural Perceptions". 24 November 2015.
  2. ^ Windman, Matt (6 August 2015). "Phillipa Soo on starring in Broadway's sold-out smash 'Hamilton'". amNewYork. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  3. ^ Nordstrom, Leigh (5 August 2015). "Phillipa Soo Soars in Broadway Hit 'Hamilton'". WWD. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  4. ^ Schulman, Michael (6 August 2015). "The Women of "Hamilton"". The New Yorker. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  5. ^ Michael, Ordona (26 January 2021). "Guiding light to new myth; Late screenwriter Audrey Wells helped 'Over the Moon,' a Chinese legend-inspired film voiced by Asian Americans, find its way". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ "ePawPrints | District 128". d128.org. Retrieved 2015-12-02.
  7. ^ Robbins, Caryn. "BWW Interview - Debut of the Month: HAMILTON's Phillipa Soo". Retrieved 2015-09-06.
  8. ^ "See Full List of 2016 Tony Award Nominations | Playbill". Playbill. 3 May 2016.
  9. ^ Dziemianowicz, Joe (July 6, 2016). "'Hamilton' names replacements for Leslie Odom Jr. & Phillipa Soo". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  10. ^ Viagas, Robert (17 October 2016). "Full Cast Announced for Broadway-Aimed Amélie Musical | Playbill". Playbill.
  11. ^ "New Musical Amélie Opens on Broadway April 3 | Playbill". Playbill. 3 April 2017.
  12. ^ "Instagram post by Amélie on Broadway • May 4, 2017 at 11:02pm UTC". Instagram.
  13. ^ "Hamilton's Phillipa Soo and Marton Csokas Join The Parisian Woman on Broadway | Playbill". Playbill. 5 September 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
  14. ^ "Phillipa Soo". IMDb. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
  15. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (20 February 2018). "'Hamilton' Tony Nominee Boards CBS Drama Pilot". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  16. ^ Otterson, Joe (2018-02-21). "'Hamilton' Star Phillipa Soo Joins CBS Drama Pilot 'The Code'". Variety. Retrieved 2018-08-19.
  17. ^ Petski, Nellie Andreeva,Denise; Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (2019-07-23). "'The Code' Canceled By CBS After One Season". Deadline. Retrieved 2020-07-13.
  18. ^ Brody, Leslie (December 30, 2015). "'Hamilton' Cast Helps Children in Need". Wall Street Journal.
  19. ^ Khan, Jessica (16 February 2016). "Broadway's Steven Pasquale and Phillipa Soo Are Engaged!". Broadway World. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  20. ^ "Tony Nominee Phillipa Soo and Stage and Screen Star Steven Pasquale Marry | Playbill". Playbill. 25 September 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
  21. ^ Legit Bad Day, retrieved 2019-07-29
  22. ^ Shattuck, Kathryn (27 October 2020). "Phillipa Soo's Week: Fund-Raising Videos and 'Agents of Chaos'". The New York Times.
  23. ^ Hammond, Pete (November 19, 2020). "'Palm Springs', 'Lovecraft Country' Top Movie And Series Nominations For Inaugural Critics Choice Super Awards; Netflix Lands 35 Nods". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 12, 2020.

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