Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs Eclectic Personal Style

The Window: You played dual roles in Hamilton, both Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette. Did you find yourself personally connecting more with one role than the other?
Daveed Diggs: I think my natural persona is closer to Lafayette. He’s a little out of place and unsure of himself when we meet him, but he is determined and truly wants to be great. But I also developed a deep understanding of Jefferson.  I tried to relate all of Jefferson’s unearned swagger and bravado to his extreme privilege. Making that choice really allowed me to love him and therefore myself, which is one of the things that made that role so fun to play—to find some truth underneath all the showmanship.

The Window: You’ve become known as one of the fastest rappers alive, but you’re fast in other ways, too: back in your college track days, you broke Brown’s record for the 110m hurdles. Did your athletic prowess came into play with your choreography for the show?
Daveed Diggs: I mean, the show was very physical. Lots of jumping, lifting, and spinning. And it doesn’t stop. So I imagine a background in athletics was useful for that. But the real athletes in that show are the ensemble members. I swear, I have no idea how they do what they do so beautifully for eight shows every week. It’s superhuman, and they make all of the principals look like we are doing way more than we actually are.

The Window: What’s it been like adjusting to the recognition that the show has garnered you?
Daveed Diggs: It’s been a bit of a process in terms of learning when and what to respond to on social media, as well as how much information to put out into the world about myself. People actually care to know things about me now! It’s mostly about protecting my family and loved ones, who didn’t necessarily sign on for this kind of attention. I don’t want the people close to me to have to be public figures just because I happen to be in the public eye at the moment.

The Window: You recently moved on from Hamilton—can you tell us a bit about what’s up next for you? We hear Hollywood is calling.
Daveed Diggs: At the moment, I’m on set shooting a beautiful film adaptation of the young-adult novel called Wonder.  I’m working with an insanely talented group of child actors who are blowing my mind. After I leave here, I’m off to go work on a very funny project for HBO called Tour de Pharmacy, and then I start work on ABC’s Black-ish.

The Window: And heard that you’re also in Baz Luhrmann’s new HBO show, The Get Down? Can you tell us about that experience?
Daveed Diggs: Baz creates a kind of energy on set that I have never experienced before. The first time I shot with him, I left the set totally exhausted and utterly inspired. The world he is creating is beautiful and brutal and honest. The cast is amazing, and I’m very excited to be a part of it.

The Window: How would you describe your personal style? Did you get to integrate any of your own into the historical costumes of Hamilton?
Daveed Diggs: My style is pretty eclectic. I like bright colors. I like things with lots of zippers or asymmetric elements, and particularly clothes that reference my hometown of Oakland. I had zero say in the design for Hamilton—that was all the genius Paul Tazewell. But I will say that when we did the show downtown, Jefferson’s purple velvet coat was a much more muted brown color. I like to think that my portrayal of Jefferson inspired the change to something a little more lively.

The Window: Hard to believe it will be cooling down soon, but what items are you most looking forward to wearing this fall?
Daveed Diggs: I’ll be honest with you, I don’t really know much about fashion and trends, but I have this really fly zipper denim hoodie thing made by Sohung Designs

The Window: Do you have a “fashion uniform” you find yourself going to again and again?
Daveed Diggs: Onesies.

The Window: Any fashion rules you live by?
Daveed Diggs: Feel fly.

Fashion uniform: Onesie.

Arriving at Milk Studios | New York City, NY | February 22, 2016

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Worn with: See U Soon coat, Aqua sweater and Prada bag

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