Still in quarantine? You’re not alone. Celebrities are cooped up in their homes across the country just like many of us. As we collectively navigate this uncharted territory, USA TODAY presents Quarantine Diaries, which give readers a peek into how our favorite stars are spending their time at home.
Today’s diarist is Tony/Grammy/Emmy-winning multi-hyphenate super man Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is at home in New York City with wife Vanessa Nadal; sons Sebastian, 5, and Francisco, 2; and his in-laws. It’s a pretty big week for him, with a filmed production of his Broadway phenomenon “Hamilton” streaming on Disney+ Friday.
When virtual school hasn’t been in session for his recent kindergarten graduate, Miranda’s tried to do some work, including writing tunes for an upcoming Sony animation production. The pandemic came at him pretty fast: Miranda was 10 days into directing his first movie, an adaptation of the Jonathan Larson musical “Tick, Tick… Boom!,” when everyone went into lockdown.
Miranda, 40, walks us through a day in his life. – As told to Brian Truitt
6 a.m. The 2-year-old goes to bed in his own bed every night, but somehow ends up in our bed anywhere between 1 and 3 a.m., either through protest or crawling there himself. Yesterday morning, my wakeup was a swift kick in the eye from him, which meant an immediate ice pack because I knew I was facing down a day of press for “Hamilton” and I didn’t want the shiner for it. Waking up on my own would be a dream, but I don’t think it’s a dream that I get to entertain for a few years.
7:30 a.m. My breakfast menu is limited to eggs, toast and cereal for all involved. I am famously the worst at making crepes in our home. My father-in-law actually makes mean crepes. So if he’s already up, sometimes he gets up and walks the dog before us. He can be in charge of that.
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How did remote learning go? Kindergarten is not meant to be done via Zoom. There were teachers who adapted to it better than others. Music class was just as much a joy. When it comes to stuff like spelling and math, where it helps to have the teacher in the room, the responsibility fell to us much more. I’m sure every parent has had the experience of feeling like a creeper in the room being like (whispers), ‘Your teacher can see you! Look at the screen! Stop flopping around!’ It was a lot of that.
What I’m streaming: “The Last Dance” miniseries on ESPN was just such an adrenaline blast of ’90s nostalgia. I’m a New Yorker, so Patrick Ewing and John Starks were my guys, but I had a poster of (Michael) Jordan dunking the moon on my wall when I was in high school, too. The other thing that we have fallen in love with is “What We Do in the Shadows” and their incredible second season.
12 p.m. Lunch is a grab bag. It’s anything from a ham and cheese sandwich to some pasta to some rice and beans. We have stockpiles of tortillas – that’s a really easy lunch fix. My son likes to just get a flat tortilla and salami slices and he calls that lunch. We will try to sneak a vegetable or fruit in there. That’s been a newly resurgent favorite, the make your-own-tortilla/quesadilla situation.
Is music a daily ritual? Yeah, absolutely. My 2-year-old is in a particularly fiendish “Moana” phase right now, and I’m sorry to every parent who’s lived through it and I understand that I’m partly responsible. But now I’m living it.
On talking to his kids about current events: What I talk to (Sebastian) a lot about is this moment in history: This has never happened to our generation. I never had a time where we all had to stay home from school for this long – the most we ever had were snow days. ‘So you’re living in an interesting time and you’re going to remember this for a while.’ That’s a bit of how my mom raised me, too, was think of everything as grist for the mill for what you’re going to write about someday, and I find myself using those techniques with him as well.
6 p.m. Dinner is everything from takeout from the places that we still want to support and keep in business – and tip absurdly generously, too, because that’s a tough gig – to making do with what’s around. Again, those tortillas make appearances pretty often and we’ve upped our meat game because we bought a lot of frozen meats. We’re really experimenting in that realm right now.
How we unwind as a couple at night: My wife is the video gamer. When life got busy for me, I kind of dropped gaming but she has stayed with it. Usually, the last thing I see before I fall asleep is my wife playing either “Animal Crossing” or “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind” in bed next to me on the Switch. I’ve picked up the Switch as well, but I’m purely analog. I’m playing NES “Pro Wrestling” (and) “Super Mario Bros. 3.” We’ve also returned to the world of “Office” reruns. Given the state of the world and the news, sometimes that’s the only thing that can decompress your brain a bit before going to sleep.
12 a.m. You try to get in bed by midnight at the latest because that kick is coming and that child is coming at 6 in the morning and they don’t care when you went to sleep.
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