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These Are Daveed Diggs’ Best Performances, Ranked

Daveed Diggs might be best known for his dual theater role as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the hip-hop musical Hamilton, but outside his involvement on Hamilton, he’s been on several big television shows. A graduate of Brown University in theater, Diggs originally became a substitute teacher upon graduating. Because of his background in singing, songwriting, rapping, and acting, he met Lin-Manuel Miranda and was intrigued by Miranda’s developing project: Hamilton. Diggs then originated the role on Off-Broadway, then moved with the show to Broadway in 2015. He won a Tony Award for his role, and a Grammy Award with the Hamilton cast for the musical’s soundtrack.

While Diggs’ strengths lie in music and theater, he also has a prolific career in television. His filmography includes roles on Bob’s Burgers, Apple TV+’s Central Park, Black-ish, and the television adaption of Bong Joon-ho’s movie Snowpiercer. In the film world, he’ll be reuniting with Lin-Manuel Miranda for the 2023 release of The Little Mermaid; Diggs will be providing the voice of Sebastian. A versatile actor and creative, Diggs creates unique and memorable characters. These are his best performances ranked.

Related: Exclusive: Snowpiercer’s Daveed Diggs Talks About Upcoming ‘Wild’ Season 3 & Where He Finds Hope

7 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Woman talks to man in blue zip-up hoodie.

Diggs appears in season three of Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt when Kimmy is looking for colleges to attend after receiving her GED. He plays Perry, a philosophy student at Robert Moses College looking to transfer to Columbia University. Kimmy, too, ends up attending Columbia with Perry, and she enters a subplot where they may or may not be romantically involved. Diggs’ character serves as an inspiration to Kimmy, throwing philosophical questions about expanding her horizons, and also manages to throw in some humor in there as well. While Perry is only in the show for three episodes in the third season, Diggs still manages to make a solid impression.

6 Wonder

Teacher in blue suit and tie speaks with hand in front of him.

Wonder is an adaptation of the 2012 novel of the same name, and it follows the life of a boy named Auggie (Jacob Tremblay) that lives with Franceschetti-Klein syndrome. After being homeschooled, his parents enroll him at a local middle school, but he is ostracized by the other kids. Diggs plays one of Auggie’s teachers, Mr. Browne, a kind-hearted teacher that wants Auggie to be accepted for who he is, not what he looks like. Wonder was Diggs’ first movie appearance, and he got the role after having a Skype call with the director on top of the Richard Rogers theater.

5 Black-ish

Man talks to another man reading magazine.
ABC Signature

ABC’s Black-ish released to critical acclaim and has gone on to get nods from the Emmys and Golden Globes for its acting and content. The show follows the lives of an upper-class Black family living in the contemporary era, and it tackles a plethora of sociocultural issues throughout its seven seasons. Diggs has been a recurring character on the show: Johan Johnson. Johan is Rainbow’s (Tracee Ellis Ross) brother who comes to visit in season three. Diggs appears in ten episodes of the show, but this was also his first major recurring role after appearing on The Get Down.

4 Blindspotting

Two men in moving workers garb face each other.
Summit Entertainment

Blindspotting is Daveed Diggs’ brainchild; along with Rafael Casal, Diggs wrote, produced, and starred in the movie. Casal and Diggs were childhood friends who originally wrote the film’s script in the early-2000s when they felt like the city they grew up in, Oakland, wasn’t being properly represented in cinema. Diggs plays a convicted felon, Collin, on his last three days of probation, and he works with his best friend Miles (Casal) at a moving company in Oakland. After witnessing an act of racial injustice from a white police officer onto a Black suspect, he becomes distraught. At the same time, Miles is struggling with gentrification. The movie was made into a television series in 2021 and was renewed for a second season.

3 Snowpiercer

Man sits in chair, feet propped up on the cushions.
CJ Entertainment

Bong Joon-ho has a lot of excellent movies, but his 2013 film Snowpiercer was adapted into a television series in 2020. The television show is set in 2026 and borrows elements from the original. A train carrying the last of humanity is barreling through the frozen wasteland, but within its cabins conflict is ripe. Diggs stars as Andre Layton, a former detective living in the Tail end of the train. He helps orchestrate a plan to overthrow the First Class that oppresses those considered beneath them.

Related: The Little Mermaid Remake Star Daveed Diggs Praises Halle Bailey as Ariel

2 The Get Down

Party in front of wall covered in graffiti.

Netflix’s The Get Down may have been canceled too soon, but Baz Luhrmann’s musical drama was unique, offering a glimmering glimpse into the South Bronx in the late seventies. With an outstanding soundtrack and music, the show was clear with its influences in hip-hop and disco music. Diggs plays the adult version of Ezekiel, and he narrates the series through rap. While the show has a shaky start at the beginning of the season, it smooths out by the end and depicts a community often forgotten in television and cinema.

1 Hamilton

Man in colonial-style shirt holds a hand on his abs.

When Hamilton was launched on Disney+ for the first time, it opened up entirely new avenues for streaming theatrical productions online. Diggs originated the dual role of Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. Lafayette appears in the first half of the musical to play the general during the American Revolution, then completely switches attitudes, musical styles, and costumes to play Thomas Jefferson during the latter half of Alexander Hamilton’s life. Diggs’ performance in Hamilton is incredible because he plays two completely different characters; Lafayette raps, while Jefferson, who was stuck in France as change happened, sings in the old-fashioned jazz style while everyone else is rapping.

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