• Golden Globe Awards

Nominee Profile 2022: Anthony Ramos, “In the Heights”

For his performance in In the Heights, actor-singer Anthony Ramos became a first-time Golden Globe nominee. His moving portrayal of the central character Usnavi in the Jon M. Chu-directed film version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical earned him a Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy nomination.
The 30-year-old actor has often talked about how Usnavi’s story resonated with him because, like the character, he himself had big dreams and faced challenges through growing up Latino in New York. Ramos is of Puerto Rican descent and grew up in the Bushwick, Brooklyn neighborhood.
Though he was originally planning to pursue a baseball career, the actor’s high school drama teacher encouraged him to pursue the arts after hearing him sing. Ramos went to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, a college conservatory for the performing arts, on a full scholarship. He graduated from its musical theater program in 2011.
For In The Heights, he rapped, danced, and sang several big production numbers, but when asked about his favorite song in the film during its press junket, he named “Paciencia y Fe” (Patience and Faith), the song performed by his Tony-nominated costar Olga Merediz who played Abuela.
“‘Paciencia y Fe’ is the one that hits me hard. I think there are so many people that can feel for that character. And there are so many people who I know personally who have that grandmother, have that person, that matriarch who came here to give not only themselves a better life, but hopefully their family for generations to come. And what that was like for them and how challenging that was. How scary that can be. And how they had to remind themselves to have patience and faith every single day in the process of having dreams of a better tomorrow,” he has said.
He’s familiar with the transformative power of patience and faith because he worked his way up in the theater world, where for the longest time, actors of color didn’t have a lot of opportunities to breakthrough.
And then in 2015, came to Miranda’s groundbreaking Broadway musical Hamilton, in which he played the dual role of John Laurens and Hamilton’s son Philip. The show was a massive success and made stars out of its performers.
“My life changed in a year. We just went from doing the show for 100 people in a black box theater three times, three presentations, to do it for 1,300 people eight times a week. And any person who’s anybody was there every single night to the point where you were just, like, ‘Yo, I’m so tired I can’t even go there and meet. I can’t,’” he shared with a laugh during press interviews at 2018s A Star is Born, in which he costarred with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. “There’s a lot of static and there’s a lot going on around you, and things are changing really quickly. I didn’t really know how to adjust to it and my family and the people around me also didn’t know. But it’s awesome to be a part of art that you care about.”
He reprised his Hamilton dual role in the 2020 filmed play that also received critical acclaim. On television, he received similar praise for his role as Eladio in the series In Treatment (2021) with Uzo Aduba. He also appeared in the Starz series Blindspotting with fellow Hamilton alums Daveed Diggs and Jasmine Cephas Jones.
Ramos is the lead star of the upcoming Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, the upcoming next installment from the Transformers film franchise.
As a recording artist, his milestones include appearing on the original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton in 2015, The Freedom EP in 2017, and his debut album, The Good & The Bad released in 2019. In 2021, his second album Love and Lies and In The Heights original motion picture soundtrack were released.