Corey Hawkins's Role in In the Heights Was Meant to Be, and 5 Other Facts About the Star
In the Heights hit theaters and HBO Max on June 11, and we are absolutely blown away by the incredible cast. While the film's lead Anthony Ramos is already pretty well-known for his role in Hamilton, you probably found yourself wanting to know more about the actor who plays his best friend Benny, Corey Hawkins. I mean, we don't blame you. Not only is he super talented with an incredible voice, but he's pretty dreamy, too. Though the 32-year-old has starred in a handful of films and Broadway shows before, people are really loving his portrayal of Benny in In the Heights. Learn more about the charming actor ahead.
He's a Juilliard Graduate
Corey studied drama at the prestigious performing arts conservatory. Before that, he attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, whose alumni include comedian Dave Chappelle and actress Samira Wiley.
His Performance at the 2017 US Open Helped Him Score a Role in In the Heights
During the 2017 US Open, Corey performed "God Bless America" before the men's singles final. Interestingly enough, his performance caught the attention of In the Heights creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who was sitting in the stands. As his Esquire profile notes, the performance essentially helped Corey book the role of Benny in the film adaptation.
In the Heights Was the First Musical He Ever Saw
Corey's role in In the Heights really was meant to be. As the actor noted in his Esquire profile, it's actually the first musical he saw when he moved to NYC for college. While studying at Juilliard, he also lived a few blocks from Washington Heights. Talk about full circle!
He Got His Start in Theater
After graduating Juilliard, Corey began starring in a handful of off-Broadway shows. In 2013, he made his Broadway debut as Tybalt in the revival of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and in 2017, he starred in the Broadway revival of Six Degrees of Separation alongside Allison Janney and John Benjamin Hickey. "Theatre is where I sort of cut my teeth," he told The Star.
He Has Already Starred in Some Big Blockbuster Films
In addition to his theater credits, Corey has already starred in a handful of big movies. Some of his most notable roles so far are Dr. Dre in Straight Outta Compton, Houston in Kong: Skull Island, Stokely Carmichael in BlacKkKlansman, and Blaine in 6 Underground.
He's a Tony-Nominated Actor
Corey scored a Tony nomination for best actor in a play for his role in Six Degrees of Separation.