Before Hamilton became Disney+’s hit Broadway sensation, actor Daveed Diggs doubted Lin-Manuel Miranda’s American history rap musical.
Actor Daveed Diggs, who played Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in the rap musical Hamilton, revealed that he was initially unsure about the musical’s concept.
Diggs unveiled his skepticism during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I thought it was terrible idea,” Diggs said. Hamilton’s creator Lin-Manuel Miranda offered Diggs a role in the musical after the two worked together on Miranda’s improv hip-hop music group Freestyle Love Supreme. “He’s a brilliant rapper and a brilliant actor,” Miranda said of Diggs’ talent. While preparing for Hamilton’s initial workshops, Diggs fell more in love with the idea and wanted to be a part of the workshops as much as possible. “I was gunning for [a role in the stage production] in ways that felt out of character,” Diggs said. “I didn’t miss a single [workshop]. I just wanted to be around it and I was so sure that if they ever saw anybody else do it, they wouldn’t ask me to come back.”
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Diggs eventually debuted the role of Lafayette/Jefferson in both the show’s off-Broadway and Broadway premieres in 2015 and continued playing the role until Jul. 15, 2016. A live stage recording of the musical premiered on Disney+ on Jul. 3, 2020 after Disney bought the distribution rights for $75 million. Hamilton had the biggest streaming debut of 2020 until December when it was toppled by HBO Max’s superhero film Wonder Woman 1984. Wonder Woman 1984 also received a higher debut than Disney+’s Pixar film Soul, which premiered the same day and which also featured Diggs as an actor, music producer, and cultural consultant.
Diggs is in the process of working with Disney again as he prepares to film The Little Mermaid’s live-action remake, featuring four new songs written by his Hamilton collaborator Miranda. Diggs is playing Sebastian the crab in the remake and confessed in a previous interview that he has worked harder to prepare for this role than any other in his career. “I tend to say yes to things when I feel like I can do it, but I’m actually not sure I’m the smart choice or the person naturally who should be doing it.”
Directed by Thomas Kail, Hamilton stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Leslie Odom, Jr., Christopher Jackson, Jonathan Groff, Phillipa Soo, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Anthony Ramos, Okieriete Onaodowan and more. The recorded performance is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
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