Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.
Daveed Diggs is up for a challenge.
The Grammy and Tony Award-winning actor, best known for originating the dual roles of Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in Broadway’s “Hamilton,” is starring in TNT’s sci-fi thriller “Snowpiercer.”
The series, based on the film from Oscar-winner Bong Joon Ho of “Parasite,” is set more than seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland. The remnants of humanity inhabit a perpetually moving train that circles the globe. But class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival lead to violent chaos.
The 38-year-old spoke to Fox News about taking on “Snowpiercer,” working with Jennifer Connelly, how he’s coping with the coronavirus pandemic and what he hopes audiences will get from “Hamilton” this summer.
Fox News: How surreal is it to star in a series like “Snowpiercer” during these unprecedented times?
Daveed Diggs: I think the series felt really relevant when I first read it almost four years ago and now even more so, and in different ways. Surreal is, I think, an appropriate word for how everything feels right now. I'm on day 59 of my own of our own quarantine in this house. So I spend more time in this room with monkey wallpaper than anywhere else in the world than I have in years.
Fox News: What was it like working with Jennifer Connelly and what surprised you the most about her?
Diggs: Her talent did not surprise me, obviously, I was well prepared for that. She's an incredible actor, but she is so sweet. I don't know why I wouldn't have predicted that, but I wouldn't have. She's so just genuinely kind and great to be around. She has a wonderful family and when her kids are on set, they're the best. She's incredible. I feel very fortunate to have worked with her.
Fox News: What was it about the character that drew you in?
Diggs: What I appreciate about Layton is that he is constantly gathering information and then he changes based on the information that he gathers. I don't enjoy playing characters that are fixed, that end the same place where they started. And so Layton is forced to do so much changing of his mind and confronting his beliefs, and he's doing it all while on the run in this very action-packed violent revolution. So it just felt like an interesting challenge to try and get all of that across in this format.
Fox News: Many shows, as you know, have halted production due to the coronavirus pandemic. I know we're all learning, but what changes would you like to see happen?
Diggs: It’s hard for me to say. I think we're going to have to find a way to take precautions so that everybody working on a set feels safe. That's a tall order but good art really gets made in safety, in safe environments. You have to feel comfortable enough to try things and everybody has to work together to make something happen.
And so I think a big part of the job going forward is going to be ways of making sure that everyone feels protected and feels like they're not endangering themselves or their family. The wild thing about COVID is that even if you don't feel sick, you have the potential of infecting somebody else. It's a tricky thing. I don't envy anybody who's trying to figure out how to shoot something right now. It's a difficult order and certainly, as a producer, there are things that I'm thinking about all the time.
Fox News: There’s a lot of buzz about “Hamilton” coming to Disney+ in July. What do you hope audiences will get from watching the show in such a unique way?
Diggs: I hope a lot of joy. I think it's a good time for anything joyous. I don't know about you, but my days are just alternating between feeling really good and feeling, like, really terrified, and that anxiety that feels crippling in a lot of ways. I turn to entertainment to help with that and so I hope that Hamilton provides another outlet for people and another way to experience joy keep our spirits up.
“Snowpiercer” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on TNT.