Daveed Diggs is one of Variety‘s 10 Actors to Watch for 2017.
He starred in the original production of Hamilton and went on to win the Tony Award for playing Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson in the smash show. We spoke with him on the red carpet at Nick & Toni’s before all of the honorees sat down for brunch.
So what does it mean to be a part of this Variety honor?
Daveed Diggs: Oh, it’s so nice, I like a “To watch” list because it implies that you’re going to do something next. Which is cool.
You’ve been cast in so many projects. What are you most excited about?
Daveed Diggs: Oh man, so much stuff. I just wrapped a Pilot for Snowpiercer, which I’m very excited about. I wrote a film called Blindspotting, that we’re in post for right now, with by best friend Rafael Casal. So, that’s very exciting too. Hopefully at festivals soon. Wonder is coming out next month, obviously, that’s dope. Ferdinand I did some voices for. I’m doing a lot of cartoon stuff these days. So, yeah, it’s fun. Life is cool.
In terms of the project that you co-wrote can you speak a little bit about what inspired you to make that project?
Daveed Diggs: We’ve been writing it for nine years. It’s since before anybody cared that we were writing a thing. So, it’s really a passion project. It’s about two friends growing up in Oakland, and sort of examines issues of gentrification. I’m very proud of it. I’m very excited for people to see it.
Alec Baldwin spoke about why he decided to get involved with HIFF on the red carpet for the Julie Andrews reception:
We come out here year-round. The festival was something that won me over eventually. I wasn’t so interested in working in film festivals 10, 15 years ago. But one year I bought a pass and attended the screenings, and I was very impressed by what they did. Now I’m co-chairing the board this year with Randy Mastro. I just am very amazed how you can come here for four days … I’ve done nine films in three days. I’ve done three films a day for three days. But if you go see five, like I’ll see five films this week. Because of the kids I can’t get out all the time. It’s never a disappointment. There’s always such a range.
On why he’s passionate about docs:
Documentaries have come a long way in terms of programming. They once weren’t something that was programmed as readily and as easily as they are now. Documentaries now are as good, and they’re certainly as important as any narrative film you’ll see. Some of the best films that are being released now, at festivals and beyond. Streaming on services like Netflix or HBO Go or what-have-you. Whoever’s making docs now, whoever’s buying docs to distribute, they know that they have earned a place now. They’re just as important and just as interesting as ordinary films.
HIFF 2017 is presented by Audi. A yellow Audi R8 from the Audi Sport collection was on display outside of the brunch and VIP guests were transported from events during the festival in Audi cars.
Audi of America announced the launch of the Audi Sport brand at the 2017 New York Auto Show. As the halo for the Audi brand, the R and RS models embody the same history and credibility of their racecar counterparts with the design and functionally that is suitable for daily use. Eight new Audi Sport models make up the new line. This includes the: Audi R8 LMS GT4, 2017 R8 V10 Spyder, All-new 2018 TT RS and, for the first time in the U.S., the 2017 and 2018 RS 3 and The RS 5 Coupe, launching in the first few months of 2018. Some of the key Audi Sport design features include: Iconic red rhombus logo, Singleframe grille with a honeycomb insert for a distinctive figure and Race-inspired shell sheets.