Soo shared the 28-second-long clip on Twitter, explaining that sweet moments like this are one of the many things she is grateful to have come out of her working on the show.
3-year-old Jenna was awestruck by the woman in blue dancing ever so gracefully on the screen. The actress's familiar facial features captured the little one's attention as she watched the live-action movie adaptation of history-making Broadway show, Hamilton, on Disney+ with her aunt. Young Jenna turned to her aunt with questions as the gorgeous Phillipa Soo delivered her jaw-dropping rendition of "Helpless." The little one pointed to the Chinese-American star and confidently declared: "Look, it's me." Even when her aunt, Britney Thai—who captured the adorable moment on camera—corrected her, saying, "That's Eliza," Jenna looked intently back to the screen and firmed stated: "It's me."
If that heartwarming moment isn't proof that representation matters, I don't know what is. When Thai shared the video with Soo and Hamilton music director Alex Lacamoire, she probably didn't expect it to go as viral as it has today. Soo shared the 28-second-long clip on Twitter, explaining that sweet moments like this are one of the many things she is grateful to have come out of her working on the show. Little Jenna here is exactly why #representationmatters. I am so grateful for this show, that so many young people can watch this show and say "It's me," she wrote.
Little Jenna here is exactly why #representationmatters . I am so grateful for this show, that so many young people can watch this show and say “It’s me” . Thank you @britbrit1432 for sharing this video ❤️💕❤️💕 @HamiltonMusical #hamilfilm pic.twitter.com/iDbb4orVIs— Phillipa Soo (@Phillipasoo) July 6, 2020
Jenna's video quickly went viral on social media with over 119K likes and more than 18.3K retweets and comments on Soo's tweet. It was also shared by Lin-Manuel Miranda—the creator of Hamilton who stars opposite Eliza as her husband—with a broken heart emoji alongside the quote, "It’s me." With love pouring in for Jenna from all the internet, Thai shared a special message from the little one's family which gave a little insight into the incredible journey the young girl has been through at such a young age.
It made me want to be an actor. I spent five years taking acting class at HB studio. I did couple off off Broadway shows and changed career. Now I came back to acting, but do mostly background work. yes #RepresentationMatters .— Simonagree (@Simonagree1) July 6, 2020
I want to start off by saying thank you. If you know me, you know I talk about my niece, Jenna, A LOT. Over the weekend, I was able to capture a special moment with her while watching 'Hamilton.' It was so cute, I had to share it with maestro Alex Lacamoire and Phillipa Soo. Who knew a little text exchange would lead to this? Our family has been so grateful for the love Jenna has received. We want to take this opportunity to share another part of her story, the message stated.
Nice to see more and more of things like this... pic.twitter.com/QxDi4gOjot— Douglas Hirschman (@dhirschman1) July 6, 2020
Indeed. Reminds me of Parker Curry and the Michelle Obama painting at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. pic.twitter.com/kXNNnESYSC— WarrenForVeep (@Dave90125) July 6, 2020
I've been a Broadway lover all my life, and as a fellow half-asian, your performance was probably the first time I've ever seen representation onstage, and it made me cry to finally see someone who looks like me up there. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. ❤️— 모이라 (@ahdlfk_) July 6, 2020
Jenna suffered from heart and lung failure two years ago and was hospitalized at the Children's Hospital LA. She received ECMO treatment and spent several months in the ICU. Today, she is healthy and thriving and we truly attribute the team at CHLA for bringing her home to us. It's not something my family often share but we recognize the importance of this story and how it can help those in similar situations. If you're watching this video and finding that it has impacted you in any way, I ask that you join me and my family in any of the following initiatives, it continued.
This is so heartwarming to see! What an adorable girl! Imagine all the little black and brown boys and girls who, after watching Hamilton, also said "It's me." The acting and singing in Hamilton was outstanding, but the casting was sheer genius and moved this Latina to tears.— Cindy McNary (@Nadomom) July 6, 2020
My 3 year old watched the whole show in one sitting. She kept waiting for the “Lady in Green” who she now knows as Eliza, Hamilton’s wife. The awe was instantaneous! Thank you a new 4th of July viewing tradition to be proud of!— Margaux (@chevauxmargaux) July 6, 2020
This brought tears to my eyes. And I can say that at 48, I had the same experience. I saw Hamilton in Portland, OR with Shoba Narayan playing Eliza. I had literally never seen a South Asian actor on Broadway. And I felt that all my teenage musical theater dreams had come true.— Kinnari Shah (@Kinnaripdx) July 7, 2020
Thai explained that since Jenna is "too young to understand the impact of this moment," the family has been archiving the countless messages they've received since the video going viral to give to her when she's older. "We're collecting letters from anyone who would like to share their own experiences as to why #representationmatters," she stated. Thai also urged people to donate to CHLA to help others like Jenna and to support the medical staff; especially during these stressful times.
Continue to push for representation for BIPOC in the arts and beyond! Our family are first-generation immigrants from Vietnam/China and Jenna is second-generation. Our hope is that she will grow up in an environment where it's normal to see diversity on screen, on stage, and in her daily life. I personally vow to continue working towards diversity, inclusion, and equity in my day-to-day. I hope that you will join me, Thai concluded.