In the latest episode of Shadow and Act’s Opening Act podcast, Daveed Diggs opened up about what it’s like to see Blindspotting turn into a TV show and how he’s handled the renewed interest in Hamilton.
Blindspotting, a film created by and starring Diggs in 2018, is now a television series about supporting character Ashley (Jasmine Cephas Jones). Diggs said that he didn’t imagine the film ever becoming a TV show, so having it gain a second life has come as a delightful surprise.
“It took us 10 years to make that film, and we were done. We were definitely not trying to make a TV show out of it,” he said. “It was not our idea necessarily, but once somebody presented the idea to us, it became an unavoidable one mostly becuase we thought the character Ashley was underserved in the film, necessarily because it was so much of Colin’s story, but she had so much to say.”
Blindspotting, of course, is the only one of Diggs’ projects receiving a second life from television. His breakout performance in Hamilton has now been viewed by a wider, global audience in Disney+’s recording of the popular Broadway show. The renewed focus on Hamilton has led to multiple award nominations, including an Emmy nomination. Diggs said that for him, “[t]he accolades are weird, honestly.”
“It’s weird to be doing press and talking about [Hamilton]–I haven’t performed that show in over five years and that performance was shot so long ago,” he said. “I don’t think about Hamilton in my everyday life but it came up in the zeitgeist again, so the accolades for it are strange. But I do think it was a pretty cool thing for the creators, for Lin [Lin-Manuel Miranda] and Tommy [director Thomas Kail] and all those cats to do along with the whole Disney corporation to…put it out now [because] people need something.”
He also praised the film’s marketing, since it’s tough to be seen in a crowded streaming landscape.
“Something being good doesn’t mean it gets watched. You have to put a ton of energy behind it, particularly the television space, there’s so much. So you have to cut over the noise in some way so they had to put a ton of muscle behid it too to get people to watch it,” he continued. “I think it was a cool thing that they did and it brought a lot of joy to people at a time when folks needed it.”
Listen to the full episode below:
Blindspotting is currently airing on Starz. Hamilton is currently streaming on Disney+.