The live-recorded movie version of Broadway's Hamilton debuted on Disney+ on July 3, and fans around the world are rejoicing in being able to access Lin-Manuel Miranda's work of art on demand, rather than having to purchase pricey theater tickets. One such fan is 3-year-old Jenna, who is proving that representation matters after seeing Phillipa Soo — one of the many diverse cast members in Lin's show, who plays Alexander Hamilton's wife, Eliza — in the film. In a video shared to Instagram by Phillipa, Jenna can be seen watching the movie on a laptop. "It's me!" she says, as Eliza glides on screen in the middle of "Helpless."
"Little Jenna here is exactly why #representationmatters," Phillipa wrote on Instagram. "I am so grateful for this show, that so many young people can watch this show and say 'It's me'." Jenna's aunt, Britney Thai, works with the Hamilton team and shared the video with Phillipa directly. Britney told POPSUGAR that for her family, even being able to witness Jenna experience this moment of pride is emotional, as she suffered from heart and lung failure when she was just a year-and-a-half old.
"Our family has been so grateful to receive all the kind messages about the importance of this video and what representation means to so many people," Britney told POPSUGAR. "Jenna is our fighter and we are incredibly lucky to see her on the road to full recovery. To witness her thrive in moments like this, where she gets to discover role models and see herself on screen, has been so meaningful. Jenna is a little too young to understand the impact of this moment so we are archiving all the messages we've received so she can read when she's older (right now, she's too busy being a princess AND a doctor AND a chef)!"
Britney added: "We want to thank Phillipa Soo for her support and her incredible work. We are proud to see her representing the [Asian American and Pacific Islander communities] in the arts!"
If you'd like to write a letter to Jenna about the impact of seeing her video or to share with her what representation means to you, you can email her now and she'll get to read it when she's older. Or, Britney shared, "If you are able and would like to provide additional support, we encourage you to donate to Children's Hospital LA where Jenna received her treatment, so we can all further help those like Jenna to find moments where they too can dream and thrive."