Great Performances

S44 E4 | CLIP

Christopher Jackson on George Washington

Christopher Jackson, who plays George Washington in Hamilton, discusses his character in this clip from Hamilton’s America - the documentary film that brings history to vivid life through the lens of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s pop culture Broadway phenomenon Hamilton.

AIRED: October 21, 2016

Washington had been serving for forty-five

years of his life and he wanted to

return home and actually enjoy the

fruits of the labor that he had invested

in, in the building and the

establishing of the government itself.

Washington is revered as the father of our

country but our understanding of history

goes awry when we only seek or care to

listen to one part of a story.

From the moment I knew I was gonna be playing

Washington that was the first thing that

came into my mind -- the slave question.

The reality of the fact that he owned people.

I'll never make peace with it.

I try to -- til I stood in the slave quarters and

there's no way to reconcile that.

If anything it brings to bear the entire

truth of who this man was and some parts

are ugly. Some parts are abhorrent but

there's nothing that I can do to change

those things and and there's nothing in

my portrayal that would suggest that we

forgive any of that.


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