Interview with Hamilton star Daveed Diggs
Daveed Diggs recently earned a Tony nomination for his Broadway debut in Lin-Manuel Miranda's smash hit musical Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.
Daveed pulls double duty in the production as both Marquis De Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, rapping with a French accent as well as becoming President of the United States eight times a week.
We caught up with Daveed to talk about his phenomenal year in Broadway's most sought after show...
Thomas Hayden Millward: Thomas Jefferson’s coming home! Congratulations, Daveed! Hamilton is, of course, sweeping the board this Awards Season. Do you feel like this has been a long time coming?
Daveed Diggs: Yeah I guess so. We kind of had a mini Awards Season last year when we were downtown at the Public Theater, so it feels a little bit like a continuation of that. And the thing about this show is that every week there is something going on, man. There’s always some reason to celebrate at Hamilton. And if there isn’t one, we’ll make one up because we really like partying!
THM: So what have been your highlights over the past year? What are the first things that spring to mind?
DD: Wow! There are so many! Performing at the White House was incredible. The student matinees have been incredible. The private party we got, which Prince threw for us, was incredible. That was a month before we lost him, so in hindsight, it has become even more incredible. But even at the time, it was a totally magical thing. There’s just been too many memories to count really at this point. Every time we all get to hang out together for whatever reason, it is special because it’s a really special group of people.
THM: There’s no denying Hamilton is the ultimate Broadway juggernaut at the moment, but a West End transfer has already been announced for next year. How do you think British audiences will respond to this very American musical?
DD: Ooh I don’t know. I hope they will all love it! (Laughs) But to be honest, I have no idea. I have spoken to some British audience members who have seen the show here in New York and they all seem to be big fans of it. It is American and it’s definitely our side of the story. From a British point of view, we only get King George’s side of the story.
THM: And he’s actually my favourite character in the musical… present company excluded, of course.
DD: Well, that’s a good choice to have! (Laughs)
THM: I’m sure he will go down very well over in London. Jonathan Groff already made a little on-screen appearance as King George at this year’s Olivier Awards to introduce the cast of ‘In The Heights,’ which was warmly received.
THM: And back here in New York, how does one get one’s hands on a ticket to Hamilton?
DD: Well you can’t even get them through me anymore. I can’t even get my Momma into the show right now! (Laughs) I think the best way is to wait until next year and fly over and see it in London. No, there’s a cancellation line and there’s a lottery. And I swear that lottery is my favourite thing in the world. That whole front row are the people who paid $10 for their tickets and are the most excited to be there. And I don’t see very well, so those are actually the only people I can see when I’m on stage and we always have a good time.
THM: Well, just so you know – apparently the seats behind that front row are normally full in that theatre too, so don’t you worry!
DD: That’s what they tell me! (Laughs)