Hello, Anthony Ramos!

SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil - The Philippine Star
Hello, Anthony Ramos!
The In The Heights star — who is on the cover of Time magazine — sings sexy, can dance up a storm, has the chiseled features of a Latino heartthrob, as well as the classic rags-to-riches story that Hollywood loves so much.
STAR / File

There are several important reasons why filmdom is all a-dither over the upcoming arrival of the motion picture In The Heights. Foremost among these is the fact that it is the first musical to be released during this pandemic era. June 11 in theaters and on HBO Max. How it will fare in the box-office can affect the fate of other musicals. Remember, Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story is waiting in the wings.

Then there is the fact that In The Heights is truly a wonderful show about young people and their dreams in the Latino community of Washington Heights in New York. It has all the ingredients, beautiful songs, great production numbers and even a Pulitzer Prize. It has words and music by Lin Manuel Miranda. He is the guy who also did Hamilton and whoever came up with something like Hamilton can do no wrong. And then there is Anthony Ramos.

Admit it, even the perfect movie can use help at the box-office from a dose of eye candy, especially one that is also good for the ears. In the case of In The Heights, that is provided by Ramos. He is 29 years old, sings sexy, can dance up a storm, has the chiseled features of a Latino heartthrob and is buffed enough to be part of the Calvin Klein Spring 2021 Underwear Campaign. His is also the classic rags-to-riches story that Hollywood loves so much.

Ramos would have made a good Menudo when he was 12 years old. Like Ricky Martin or Robby Rosa. But he was not that fortunate. He grew up in the projects in Brooklyn, had an absent father and a mother who had to work hard to support three children. His childhood was surrounded by drugs, alcohol and poverty. But like Usnavi, the character he plays in In The Heights, Ramos had dreams and his was to become a successful singer and songwriter.

All the odds were against Ramos but there were always angels placing him where he was supposed to be. Like getting cast in the lead in school musicals despite his lack of training. No money for college? A sympathetic mentor helped him get a scholarship from the Jerry Seinfeld Family Foundation to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. No dance background? A school allowed him to work the desk in exchange for lessons. And he did jobs, singing and acting wherever he could.

So when the call for auditions for the megahit Hamilton went out, Ramos was good and ready. Not just with the singing, dancing and acting bits but with a raging hunger inside him for his turn in the limelight. He bagged the role of Philip, Alexander and Eliza Hamilton’s eldest son in the original Broadway production. If you missed watching that, you can check out the Hamilton film where Ramos plays the same role.

Ramos can also be seen in A Star is Born, She’s Gotta Have It, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and was the King’s voice in the Trolls World Tour and soon in In The Heights. Early reviews for the picture are mostly raves. Miranda can do no wrong and now also director Jon M. Chu, who also megged Crazy, Rich Asians. So we might as well throw Ramos into the pack. Besides, it is also heartwarming to know that despite the difficult time, nothing can stop the birth of a new star.

Now, the movie business is not the only one thinking it has a new star ripe for the big time in the Puerto Rican kid from Broadway. So is the world of recording. Ramos has several singles and an album, The Good and the Bad, out and another one coming up, Love and Lies.

So those of you thinking of how you will react to this guy while watching In The Heights, you can prepare for the experience by listening to his songs and watching his videos. Say Less, a sexy R&B jam that features his leading lady Melissa Barrera in the steamy video should give you a good idea.

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