She’s the Elizabeth Schuyler to his Alexander Hamilton. At the 2016 Tony Awards on Sunday, June 12, Lin-Manuel Miranda won the award for Best Original Score for Hamilton, and instead of a traditional speech, he read a sonnet inspired by his love for his wife, Vanessa Nadal, and his grief over the tragic Orlando shooting.
“My wife’s the reason anything gets done,” he gushed of Nadal, who beamed at her husband from the audience. “She nudges me towards promise by degrees. She is a perfect symphony of one. Our son is her most beautiful reprise.”
Here are five things you should know about Miranda’s muse:
1. She’s a lawyer and a scientist.
Basically brilliant. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she worked as a research-and-development scientist at Johnson & Johnson. She later received her law degree from Fordham University School of Law, and most recently worked as an associate at Jones Day in New York City.
2. Nadal first met her future husband during high school.
Not quite high school sweethearts. Both attended Hunter College High School in NYC’s Upper East Side neighborhood, with Nadal two years behind Miranda. And although he knew who she was, he never worked up the courage to talk to her. “She was gorgeous and I’m famously bad at talking to women I find attractive,” Miranda told The New York Times in 2010. “I have a total lack of game.”
3. She loves the video game Grand Theft Auto.
Miranda stumbled across her Facebook profile in the summer of 2005 and invited Nadal to see him perform with his hip-hop improv group, Freestyle Love Supreme. Weeks later, he invited her to another show, after which they went out with a bunch of friends. As they stood on a sidewalk and cars zoomed by, she compared the sight to her favorite video game, Grand Theft Auto, which coincidentally happened to be his favorite as well. “I very cooly said, ‘All right, you’re going to come over to my house tonight, and we’re going to play Grand Theft Auto and watch the Jay Z movie and listen to Marc Anthony,’” he recalled to the Times.
4. Nadal and Miranda married in September 5, 2010, and have a 17-month-old son.
The couple tied the knot on September 2010 at the Belvedere Mansion in Staatsburg, New York. Nadal stunned in a strapless Oscar de la Renta gown. Not only did they have Broadway stars performing and a 22-piece orchestra, but Miranda surprised Nadal by coordinating a special song and dance that he performed with several of her family members and friends. The number was based on “To Life” from Fiddler on the Roof, and the group secretly rehearsed for a month. A little more than four years later, Nadal gave birth to their first child, Sebastian, on November 10, 2014.
5. She makes the best breakfast.
Breakfast club for two. After Miranda won the Tony Award for Best Musical for In the Heights in 2008, he rapped his acceptance speech and gave a sweet shout-out to his wife. “Vanessa, who still leaves me breathless, thanks for loving me when I was broke and making breakfast,” he rapped. Early on in their relationship, she began making big breakfasts for the couple to enjoy together every morning, according to The New York Times.
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