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Renaissance Man

By Yash Egami on May 18, 2017

Even if you’re not a Broadway aficionado, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of Hamilton beyond the ten-dollar bill. The Tony-Award winning musical, starring Lin-Manuel Miranda and a cast of friends from theater and music, included a breakout performance by Daveed Diggs, who played Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson.

Since leaving the original production of Hamilton, Diggs has been busy with film and television roles including an appearance on the ABC series Black-ish and touring with his hip-hop group clipping. Add host to his resume as he will be heading up The One Show on Wednesday, May 10. We spoke with Diggs before Creative Week to find out more about the charismatic actor.

Talk about how your life has changed since Hamilton. People recognize you on the street?
I do get recognized occasionally. I play a game sometimes when people are approaching with that “I'm about to ask for a selfie” look where I try and guess where they know me from. It's usually Hamilton or Black-ish, but once in a while I get pleasantly surprised when somebody says “clipping. is my favorite band!” Other than that I think I'm just home a lot less. And I’m never really sure where I'm going but I have a great team of folks who remind me. And what all that travel means is that the things that I used to do all the time, like making music or hanging with friends or seeing my family, I now have to schedule time for.

Do you have an all-time favorite TV commercial?
You know, there is an ad that I think about all the time and I can't for the life of me remember what it is for. It's a guy at work asleep at his desk and his boss comes in and he wakes up and starts trying to cover the fact that he was sleeping by randomly pressing buttons on the keyboard and picking up his phone and muttering nonsense about reports or something. Does the fact that I can't remember what it's for mean it wasn't a very successful ad? Because it is some of the best acting I've ever seen in a commercial and I still laugh thinking about how funny it was. I've looked on the Internet many times and can't find it because I have no useful way to search for it. So maybe somebody here can help me out and send me a link.

I heard you did some voiceover work in commercials. True?
True. I recently voiced a Microsoft Surface Pro ad. But before that I did a ton of those ads on Pandora that I assume everybody mutes when they come on. No shade to the Pandora ad team who are awesome and who are friends of mine and who hooked me up with many jobs.
 

How would you describe your hip-hop group clipping?
We make rap music.

Besides your music, what other projects are you currently working on?
I just was an Executive Producer of a pilot for ABC. So fingers crossed for that getting picked up. I'm working on another music project with Rafael Casal. And then there are a bunch of things in the works that I'm not allowed to talk about yet. And that statement feels like I'm just trying to make myself seem more important than I am. So maybe I should just say I'm chillin’ right now.

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