Daveed Diggs is a versatile actor with many other roles besides his breakout performances in Hamilton. However, the actor has admittedly struggled to shake the shadow of Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in the years since he put the roles behind him. This isn't the case on Snowpiercer, where he plays post-apocalyptic revolutionary Andre Layton, who has not sang or danced one step since the series' beginning.
Ahead of Snowpiercer Season 2, I had the opportunity to speak with Daveed Diggs and, during the conversation, i asked if he was grateful to play a character who doesn't sing or dance. Diggs then revealed that his lack of song and dance is not for lack of trying. The actor assured me he was grateful and gave a great reason why he shouldn't be the one singing or dancing on the show now or in the future:
I love it. People keep being like ‘Don’t you want us to write you some little dance number?’ [laughs] No, I’m good, I’m good. Please keep Layton out of that. I have plenty of outlets for that, and, you have Lena Hall. Use Lena Hall. That is plenty! You don’t need no more of that. She’s got it covered.
For anyone who may not know, Lena Hall is the Tony award-winning actress who plays Miss Audrey in Snowpiercer. As Daveed Diggs mentioned, she's the one the show should and has tapped for singing so far. Hall's Miss Audrey had a standout singing scene in Season 1, in which she sang Frank Ocean's "Bad Religion" for passengers in the train car.
And for anyone wondering whether the stance on Andre Layton singing or dancing will change for future seasons, showrunner Graeme Manson backed up Daveed Diggs' wishes when I spoke to him ahead of the Season 1 finale. Manson spoke about why he wasn't interested in showing that side of Diggs on the show and, like the actor, pointed out he's not the only person on the show something like that can be written for:
Yeah, I mean, I just don't think we find it realistic that Detective Layton can throw down and and rhyme. So I don't think so. It's a separate character and not really something Snowpiercer can do...Not only does Miss Audrey get to really shine. We have a very talented cast. So there'll be some surprises to who can pull out a tune. I just don't think it's gonna be Layton.
It's hard to imagine there will be much singing or dancing in Season 2 of Snowpiercer, as the revolution subsided just in time for Sean Bean's Mr. Wilford to commandeer Snowpiercer with Big Alice. With all the things Melanie warned Layton about regarding Mr. Wiilford, he may be more focused on maintaining his new position of power and hierarchy of the train than anything. Andre Layton's skills as a leader have yet to be shown in full but, given what he's said to be up against in Wilford, Diggs can hope his character is as strong a leader as he is at acting and rapping.