Backstage on Broadway: New ‘Hedwig’ star Taye Diggs talks about loving his heels, raising his son and making the role his own

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“My heels are bad ass!”

Taye Diggs is ready to strap on his stilettos and strut his stuff.

“I know it’s going to change my life,” he said.

The award-winning actor returns to Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

“This show is brilliant, it’s the most brilliant piece I’ve ever worked on,” Diggs said.

It's about a wannabe foreign rock singer's journey to America after a botched sex change operation. And while the story may be nearly two decades old, recent events have revitalized its message.

“I think it’s a great time for it," he said. "I think people’s attentions are piqued right now just because it does seem to be everywhere regardless of your opinions.”

Related: Backstage on Broadway: 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch's' Lena Hall rocks two stages

Hedwig is a demanding role and Diggs is not taking it lightly.

“I get a little bit of stage fright," he explained. "This is the biggest, the most dense, [most] physically and spiritually challenging role I’ve ever taken on.”

But it's also the most fabulous!

“I enjoy it!" Diggs laughed. "I've got a little glam in me!”

An experience he's excited to share with his five-year-old son Walker.

“I don’t know if Walker will be able to see the entire show but I definitely want him to see bits a pieces," he explained. "[I want to] bring up these issues that daddy’s playing a girl, has to wear a wig and people make fun of him, I’m excited to have those conversations with him.”

While it's been more than a decade since he's been on Broadway, Diggs is staying very busy starring on TV (Private Practice, Murder in the First), in movies (Best Man's Holiday) and even writing children's books.

“Chocolate Me came out and now we've got Mixed Me,” Diggs explained.  “[It] kind of touches on how we may all feel different or look different on the outside but how we are the same on the inside.”

And despite Neil Patrick Harris winning a Tony and four other Hedwigs coming before him, Taye Diggs is making this role his own.

“Already it’s going to be a little different, because I’m going to be the first Chocolate Hedwig,” he laughed. “I mean I don’t know if it has anything to do with me being black but it has to do with me being me!”

Taye Diggs officially steps in as Hedwig on July 22.

You can check him out at the Belasco Theatre.

 

Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi