Daveed Diggs Interview: ‘Snowpiercer’
“I appreciate a story that allows our heroes to be flawed. I think it actually makes them more heroic,” declares Tony and Grammy winner Daveed Diggs (“Hamilton”) about his new role on the sci-fi drama series “Snowpiercer.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Diggs above.
“Snowpiercer,” developed by showrunner Graeme Manson (“Orphan Black”) , is the TV reboot of the acclaimed Bong Joon Ho sci-fi epic of the same name, both based on the French graphic novel “Le Transperceneige.” It stars Diggs opposite Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly (“A Beautiful Mind”) alongside thousands of passengers aboard a 1,001 car train that traverses the globe carrying the remnants of humanity in a post-apocalyptic frozen wasteland.
Diggs plays Andre Layton, a revolutionary trapped at the tail of the train with the rest of the underclass, who is tasked with solving a crime on the Snowpiercer. The train is divided between the wealth of the front carriages and the underprivileged and poor of the back of the train.
When Diggs signed on to the show, he was keen to explore its themes, which include power, class politics, poverty and privilege, particularly around access to wealth and resources.
“What ‘Snowpiercer’ does is allow us to explore class through limited resources. I think that’s really interesting,” he explains. “The ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ become, well the stakes of that seem even higher. When you start to think about it you realize that that is the stakes generally in the world right now. It starts to force you to examine a system in which a very small percentage of people have access to way more of the resources than most of the people and that becomes troubling.”
The show’s themes became even more relevant as it started airing on TNT in the U.S. and on Netflix internationally around the same time that the world was paralyzed by a global pandemic. “It brings different things to the forefront that were already baked into the show,” Diggs says. “There’s also this sense of loss for a pretty recent past. I think a lot about missing the way we used to gather. That’s a thing that I recognize so much when I watch these episodes now is that all of these people are dealing with a profound loss of a way of living that has just fundamentally changed forever.”