Blindspotting actors and co-writers Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal took to the stage at CinemaCon last week during Lionsgate’s presentation of their Sundance film for a spoken word performance that paid tribute to the unarmed people of color who were killed by police — specifically in the past few years.
In the video above, Diggs and Casal wax poetic about police violence and from the beginning recite the names of victims that have made headlines such as Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland and many others. Passionate and woke, Diggs and Casal thoughtfully schooled the CinemaCon audience with their words — and they are more qualified than anyone to do so. In addition to being an actor, Diggs is best known for spitting rhymes a mile-a-minute, particularly in his Tony award-winning performance in Hamilton. Casal is a lauded poet and musician who has appeared on three seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry and has a massive following on social media.
As Bay Area natives, Diggs and Casal are also the perfect actors to tell the story in the López Estrada-directed Blindspotting. In the buddy comedy-drama, Diggs plays Collin, who is trying to make it through his final days of probation for an infamous arrest he can’t wait to put behind him. Always by his side is his fast-talking childhood bestie, Miles (Casal), who has a knack for finding trouble. They grew up together in the notoriously rough Oakland, a.k.a. “The Town,” which has become the new trendy place to live in the rapidly gentrifying Bay Area. When Collin’s chance for a fresh start is interrupted by a life-changing missed curfew, his friendship with Miles is forced out of its comfortable buddy-comedy existence, and the Bay boys are set on a spiraling collision course with each other.