The duo kicked off the discussion by reflecting on the huge impact that Hamilton has had on their careers. Odom Jr. notes that while his latest role as Sam Cooke in Regina King’s One Night in Miami made him a better singer and performer, it was Hamilton that laid the foundation to make that possible.
“[Sam] made me more courageous, he made me more confident,” the actor recalls. “And all that is built off of 500 shows that we did together — off-Broadway and on-Broadway. Where fucking every night is the Grammy’s, every night is the Superbowl halftime show.”
Odom Jr. also highlighted that One Night in Miami was “the same opportunity that I recognized in what [Lin-Manuel Miranda] wrote for us [in Hamilton]. It was a chance to tell more of our story; to expand the images in media about black humanity and all that that means.”
The two also chatted about Diggs’ work on his latest show, Snowpiercer. Diggs recalls that he hadn’t realized the variety of opportunities that were available to him while working on Hamilton and that so many doors opened up for him and the cast after the show.
“I certainly had dreams and hopes and desires as an artist, but I didn’t even know the options that were available for me,” Diggs recalled. “Like I wasn’t capable of dreaming into them because I actually didn’t know how any of this shit worked. Being on Snowpiercer is a trip. It’s not the kind of thing I ever thought of as an option. And then it presented itself and I was like, ‘Yeah, let me try this,’ and now we’re about to shoot Season 3 of this thing.”
The two also spoke about what makes an idea worthy of execution, the role of spirituality in their work, and some of their off-Broadway performances, both before and after Hamilton.
Check out Hamilton: An American Musical, streaming now on Disney+