Theatre News

Daveed Diggs provides update on The Little Mermaid live-action film

Diggs will take on the role of Sebastian in the upcoming film

Daveed Diggs
Daveed Diggs
© David Gordon

Hamilton star Daveed Diggs has provided an update on the live-action Disney Little Mermaid film.

Speaking to Collider earlier this week, Diggs confessed that taking on the role of Sebastian the crab "stressed him out quite a bit", saying: "I'm not of Caribbean descent, doing that kind of work and trying to immerse myself…I've spent a lot of time in Trinidad and I went to Jamaica to research, and I did a lot of voice work with Chris Walker and with the late Tony Hall, to try to get the voice right.

"But more than the voice, the thing about a dialect is that everybody's voice is actually very different, so consistency is really more important than accuracy. Your speech pattern is based on culture, and that was the thing I didn't wanna let down."

Sebastian's significance as a character was not lost on Diggs, who admitted: "I had so many friends growing up for whom Sebastian was the first time they had seen themselves represented in mainstream American culture. As flawed as that is, that's still important. So, that role stressed me out quite a bit, but also is incredibly fun."

Diggs was in awe of co-star Halle Bailey, who takes on the titular part of the flick, saying that compared to her heavy lifting he had little to do: "I just sing a couple of cool songs and call it a day."

He did say that there are some "cool surprises" that audiences should expect – especially with Hamilton writer and performer Lin-Manuel Miranda attached to the project alongside songwriter/composer Alan Menken. A variety of new tunes are pretty much a given.

Also cast in the film are Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem, Jacob Tremblay, Jonah Hauer-King and Awkwafina, with Rob Marshall (Into the Woods, Chicago) in the director's chair.

No release date is currently set.

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