Nowadays, Daveed Diggs is stopped on the streets by fans who recognize him for his breakout performances in Broadway’s "Hamilton" and ABC’s prime-time comedy "Black-ish."
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Diggs has teamed up with his longtime, real-life buddy Rafael Casal to make the new film "Blindspotting." Diggs plays an ex-con trying to make it through his final three days of probation, while he's working as a mover with his best friend in the changing city of Oakland, California -- where the two friends came together in real life.
But his character faces a serious dilemma when he sees a police officer shoot a suspect in the back during a chase.
Diggs told Peter Travers his character and Casal's are forced to deal with the dangerous situation, while also looking at their friendship in new ways. It also includes the two communicating through rap, which he said was in the plan for the movie before they even wrote it.
Despite dealing with a very topical kind of situation where a white cop shoots a black man, Travers said that the film does not have an "I hate police" agenda. Diggs agreed.
"Yeah, I don't know that it adds anything to the conversation to make an easy villain," Diggs said on "Popcorn with Peter Travers." "And I don't believe you don't suffer the consequences of killing somebody, even a police officer ... it's not the police officer's story."
Before he was famous, Diggs said he was stopped numerous times by police in Oakland when he was trying to get to a play he was performing in.
"There was a period of three years, I stopped counting after the thirty-sixth time I was pulled over," Diggs told Travers. "I was doing plays in the Bay area and I used to factor in extra time to get to rehearsal, just in case."
He also remembered the kindness he experienced as a kid through a police community group.
"I ran for the Police Athletic League. I grew up around wonderful police officers," Diggs told Travers. "Those guys went door-to-door to help raise money for me to go to college -- really genuine, caring people -- and have done the same thing for a countless number of kids."
"I don’t have a problem with police officers," Diggs said. "There's a problem with how people are policed."
"Blindspotting" is in theaters everywhere.
Be sure to watch the full interview with Peter Travers and Daveed Diggs in the video above. "