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A version of this story first appeared in the April 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
When Steven Pasquale and Philippa Soo announced their engagement in February via Instagram, it was the post seen round the theater world: Soo, 25, plays Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, the emotional center of the juggernaut Hamilton; theater and TV veteran Pasquale (Rescue Me, The Good Wife, Billions), 39, is wowing audiences off-Broadway in The Robber Bridegroom.
In true theater-royalty style, the two were set up in 2015 by Hamilton‘s King George III, Jonathan Groff. “Steve has been getting to know me as this whole Hamilton experience has unraveled,” says Soo. “I’ve been grateful to have someone with an outside perspective but who totally understands.” But it’s likely they crossed paths years before their first meeting, she adds (Soo moved to New York in 2008 to attend Juilliard). “We talk about our favorite places, or art exhibits or shows we’ve seen in the past before we knew each other, and we’ll say, ‘I was there, too!’ It’s funny that our worlds were so close but we never met until last year. I think that’s something magical about New York, that your circles are always crossing with the most interesting people.”
Decompressing from eight shows a week happens over spicy noodles or Indian food on Sundays, when they discuss the pressures of Hamilton and the politics of the present: “Charlie Brown could be on the ballot opposite Donald Trump, and he would get our vote,” says Pasquale, who has encouraged Soo in developing The Eliza Project, which brings arts workshops to at-risk children through Graham Windham, an organization descended from the orphanage founded by Eliza Hamilton 200-plus years ago.
When Pasquale was filming The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story in 2015, he flew to L.A. to shoot scenes as Detective Mark Fuhrman but remained based in New York. If his CBS pilot (crime drama Doubt) gets picked up, the two will spend more time out west, though they remain committed to NYC (“We talk about what we want to do once we finally have our nights free, to see films and more shows,” says Soo) and theater. “We’d love to do more work together,” says Pasquale, “so at least we’d be in the same room!”
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