×

‘This Is Me’ From ‘The Greatest Showman’ Is an Anthem for Outcasts

The Hugh Jackman film puts a spotlight on the marginalized and disenfranchised.

Oscar and Tony winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land,” “Dear Evan Hansen”) wrote nine songs for “The Greatest Showman,” starring Hugh Jackman as 19th-century circus entrepreneur P.T. Barnum, but one is grabbing the most attention (including Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award nominations): “This Is Me.”

The song, which was introduced to audiences early via the movie’s trailer, appears to have a future as an anthem for the marginalized, disenfranchised, the bullied and the outcast. And in a year when “diversity” is on everyone’s minds and lips, that means it could gain traction during awards season.

“This Is Me” is key to a subplot in the fanciful biopic involving Barnum’s showcase of human “oddities” (dismissed by critics as “freaks”) including a Bearded Lady played by Broadway singer-actress Keala Settle. Halfway through the narrative, Barnum momentarily shuns his discoveries, literally slamming the door in their faces at a high-society reception.

“She then finds her own sense of power and pride,” says Pasek. “It’s the moment where they realize, ‘We are who we are, and we’re going to own our own identity,'” adds Paul. “They march through the streets, through all the protestors, go back to their circus home and perform.”

Settle won the part during an early workshop of the songs. After belting lyrics from the second verse – “Another round of bullets hits my skin / Well, fire away ’cause today, I won’t let the shame sink in” —  she turned her back on the studio execs, recalls Paul. “Keala [looked] to Hugh, took his hand and sang the last verse to him. He was crying and she was too. The whole room knew we were witnessing something extraordinary. She got the job that day.”

More Film

  • They Shall Not Grow Old restoration

    Peter Jackson Documentary 'They Shall Not Grow Old' Nabs Limited China Release

    The Peter Jackson produced and directed World War I documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” will hit Chinese theaters on November 11. Though it will roll out nationwide, it will do so via the China’s National Arthouse Alliance, which has limited screens. The 2018 documentary puts together interviews with WWI veterans and more than 100-year-old [...]

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    'Zombieland: Double Tap' Hopes to Recapture Raunchy Zombie Magic, 10 Years Later

    Audiences may have a few questions about the sequel to 2009’s hit “Zombieland,” which opens Friday. Why did it take 10 years to make a second one, after the first grossed $102.4 million worldwide on a $23 million budget, making it the third-biggest zombie movie of all time (second-biggest if you don’t count “Hotel Transylvania,” [...]

  • AMC TheatresShop signs, Los Angeles, America

    AMC Theatres Accused of Firing VP Who Complained of Gender Pay Gap

    A former vice president at AMC Theatres filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday, accusing the company of firing her after she complained that she was paid far less than her male peers. Tonya Mangels, who was vice president of product marketing, said that in March 2018 her supervisor inadvertently sent her a spreadsheet that included [...]

  • Sir Elton John poses for photographers

    Elton John Calls 'Lion King' Remake a 'Huge Disappointment'

    Elton John isn’t feeling the love for Disney’s latest live-action remake. In an interview with GQ U.K., the legendary musician criticized Disney’s remake of “The Lion King,” citing the film’s music as a “huge disappointment.” “The new version of The Lion King was a huge disappointment to me, because I believe they messed the music [...]

  • Fiddlin'

    Film Review: 'Fiddlin''

    Not many forms of music have “old-” actually built into their name as a prefix. So it’s a given that the practitioners of the 200-year-old genre known as “old-time music” will wear their antiquity proudly in “Fiddlin’,” a documentary set in and around the 80th annual Old Fiddler’s Convention in Galax, Va. What may not [...]

  • Jonah Hill attends the press conference

    Jonah Hill Passes on Role in 'The Batman'

    After being offered a role in “The Batman,” Jonah Hill has moved on from the project. Why exactly Hill is passing is currently unknown, and insiders tell Variety that when the news was initially reported, it was very early in the negotiations and that a deal was far from closing. The news comes after Zoe [...]

  • Daniel Kaluuya Elizabeth Moss

    SCAD Savannah Film Festival Honorees Include Daniel Kaluuya, Elisabeth Moss

    Daniel Kaluuya, Elisabeth Moss, Danielle Macdonald, Aldis Hodge, Valerie Pachner, Samantha Morton, Sienna Miller, Alan Silvestri and Olivia Wilde are set to be honored at the 22nd Annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival. Breakout Award honorees include Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever, Jharrel Jerome, Mena Massoud and Camila Morrone. Macdonald, who appears on Netflix in “Unbelievable” and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content