'Hamilton' Star Daveed Diggs Joins 'black-ish' Season 3 & That's A Great Career Move
As the Schuyler sisters said, "Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now!" Hamilton actor Daveed Diggs (who pulled double duty in the Broadway musical as both the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson and subsequently won a Tony Award for his efforts) is heading to your TV screen this fall — and that's definitely something worth celebrating. As if just the thought of the dynamic performer appearing in our living rooms every week wasn't enough, he also happens to be joining one of the most exciting shows on television: Daveed Diggs has been cast in black-ish Season 3 in a major role.
According to Variety, who first broke the news, Diggs will have a "substantial recurring arc" in the upcoming season of the Emmy-nominated series as Johan, the brother to Dr. Rainbow Johnson (recent Emmy nominee Tracee Ellis Ross). "Bow and Johan, whose mother is a very laid-back, hippie-ish soul, had very different childhoods than Dre, and that's partly why Johan will be a frequent thorn in Dre's side," Variety reports. "Dre Johnson has always feared that his kids will grow up to be overly pampered, and it sounds like Johan is the personification of those fears."
black-ish showrunner Kenya Barris described Diggs' character to Variety in some detail:
He's sort of a hipster, entitled kid who gets on Dre's nerves. He's constantly on a search for the best conditioner for his hair. He's probably gone to Penn or Wharton and could have gotten a great-paying job, but he's trying to find himself. That attitude more than anything makes Dre want to strangle him. Johan has been to Paris twice and he's like, 'You Americans!'
Furthermore, the free-spirited Johan will quickly win over the hearts and minds of Dre and Bow's children, with one exception: Diane, the show's little breakout star played by Marsai Martin. "She’s not buying that sh*t," said Barris.
Diggs won the role after Barris snagged a ticket to see Hamilton. (Lucky duck.) "Everyone was great, but there was a certain charismatic nature to [Diggs] when he came out," the showrunner recalled. "I noticed each time — he was the guy where the audience kind of [perked] up and said, 'Oh my God, this guy!' And I had heard through some of the cast members and through some other people that black-ish was his favorite show. We had been looking for someone to bring on for [that] role, and I felt like he would be such a welcome addition to the family."
News of Diggs' casting comes not even a week after news broke that the actor was in talks to join the upcoming film Wonder , starring Julia Roberts as a mother to a boy with a severe facial disfigurement (played by Room's Jacob Tremblay), and directed by The Perks Of Being A Wallflower's Stephen Chbosky. As great as a supporting role in a Julia Roberts movie will be (especially if the movie happens to garner Oscar attention), a role on a television show — especially a show as acclaimed and topical as black-ish — could do wonders for Diggs' career.
Everyone knows that TV is where all the best and most exciting work is happening these days, thanks to groundbreaking series like Mr. Robot, UnREAL, The People v. O.J. Simpson, The Americans, and The Leftovers. A lot of film actors are flocking to the small screen for the plumb roles it offers… so if Diggs can cut out the middle man and just head straight for those exciting shows and those plumb roles, then more power to him. Not to mention the fact that seeing him once in a small role in a two-hour movie can hardly be compared to seeing him on your TV screen once a week for several months in a row.
Since I'm not the Emmy-nominated showrunner of a hit sitcom, I haven't had the pleasure of seeing Hamilton in person yet. But just from listening to the soundtrack, I can already tell he deserves this breakout role on black-ish… and everything else good that's coming his way.