Daveed Diggs discusses new vision in TV adaption of ‘Blindspotting’

The “Hamilton” actor shares what it was like to work with Helen Hunt and why the television series is more relevant now than ever before.
6:31 | 06/15/21

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Transcript for Daveed Diggs discusses new vision in TV adaption of ‘Blindspotting’
So "Blindspotting" had some great premieres over the weekend at tribeca, in Hollywood, and even a block party in your hometown of Oakland, where the series takes place, but how come you couldn't get to any of them? And I know it's making you crazy you didn't get to go. This was the hardest weekend of my life. I'm up in Canada shooting, working on a show, but because of the closed boertds and the quarantine situation, I couldn't so I had to miss -- miss all of the celebrations for the most -- the thing I made that I'm the most proud of. So it was a tough weekend. Well, your series "Blindspotting" is actually a continuation of the story from your 2018 film of the same name which you wrote and starred your real life best friend Rafael Casal. It shifted from the two male best friends and onto the women in their lives. Why did you decide to go in that direction for the TV series and not put yourself in it? Well, we were presented with this opportunity to make a series, and we had told the part of the story that we were interested in, but the whole time we were making the film and the editing process, and the shooting and all of it, Jasmine Cephas Jones helped shape this incredible character of Ashley that we totally fell in love with, and that we felt was really representative of the strong, brilliant women who shaped our lives, and there was not enough space for her in the film, for the film to work from our perspective, so when they asked us if we wanted to make a TV show, we said yeah, but only if it's Ashley's show, and we get ourselves out of the way, and they said, yes. So that opened the whole thing Hi, daveed. Lovely to see you, and I love Helen hunt. Loved seeing the two of you together on this series. She was great in it, and it turns out you and her actually spent a lot of time during the pandemic hanging out with each other. Socially distanced, of course, T what were you guys up to? What did you guys do? Yeah. We would -- we would have movie nights, like, socially distant movie nights. We would issue and say, all let's watch all of the "Harry potter" movies back to back and it would be Helen and her family, and Rafael Casal and me and my little pod and we would have these spaced out separate blankets and she had a projector and a screen, and we would watch movies on her lawn. I also heard you guys are pitching a new twister with all black and brown cast chasing the tornadoes. Mind you, if you can find the hispanic who's going to chase a tornado as opposed to run the hell away from it, let me know. I feel you. I feel you. I wouldn't do it either, but it turns out there's a whole bunch of scientists who are really into that stuff. Really? Yeah. We pitched that, and they didn't want it. So, you know. Holla. I would watch that. I would a lot of people would watch it. I would watch th. Now you are here to promote your film "Blindspotting" in 2018, but it just feels more relevant than ever in 2021. Your character in the film, Colin, witnesses a cop shoot an uarmed black man, and then suffers from PTSD as a result. So when you watch the events of the last year unfold from breonna Taylor to George Floyd and the mass protests that followed, how did you process everything? Because we have heard about the PTSD that some of the witnesses to George Floyd's murder have experienced. Yeah. I mean, I think it's -- it's hard to say from a moment of reckoning. I think America is constantly having to reconcile with history, and we're not very good at it as a country. So I don't know. The frustrating part for me, and the reason that I think all of our PTSD, our collective PTSD as Americans takes quite some time is in order to convict George Floyd's killer is it took a month-long national protest. That's what it took in order to convict somebody, in order to convict a police officer that we had on camera murdering a black man. So it's not, you know, there was a lot of celebration after that verdict, but those odds aren't very good. Most people aren't going to get that amount of protest behind their murders, you know? So it's tough. It's tough. There's a lot of work still to do obviously. Yes, indeed, that's true. So let's talk about something else you're involved in. You're a very busy and talented you and lin-manuel Miranda are reuniting on a song for "We the people" produced by the Obamas. What's it about, and tell me why was it important for you to be involved in this particular project? Well, this "We the people" project is sort of reminiscent of the "Schoolhouse rock" days. The songs geared towards -- towards kids to help -- help us all learn how government is supposed to work anyway, and so yeah. It's about the three branches of government, and yeah. I think the project is really great. I think we don't -- we're not really taught that stuff in a way that sticks with us growing up, and I still remember the only way I remember how a bill is passed is that "Schoolhouse rock" song. So I think the reimagining of those kinds of things are really important, and also if Lin and the Obamas ask you to do something, you say yes. I don't even know that I opened the email honestly. So -- Well, that's how it should be. You know, there's certain people you just say, yes, okay. Kind of look you. That's how I feel about you. So we want to say thanks for coming back to "The view." "Blindspotting" airs Sunday nights on STARZ, and we, of

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