Blindspotting co-creators Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs initially thought that a series spinoff of their 2018 film wouldn’t work when Lionsgate first brought up the idea.
“We said, ‘No it wouldn’t,’ and we thought that was the end of it,” Diggs said.
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Nearly four years after the film, the Starz series is nearing its sophomore season, which is “really good. It’s really f*cking good,” says Casal.
During Deadline’s Contenders event Sunday, Casal and Diggs were joined on a panel by co-stars Jasmine Cephas Jones and Helen Hunt to talk about expanding the Blindspotting universe.
The series centers on Ashley, played by Cephas Jones, who was nipping at the heels of a middle-class life in Oakland until Miles (Casal), her partner of 12 years and father of their son, is suddenly incarcerated, leaving her to navigate a chaotic and humorous existential crisis when she’s forced to move in with Miles’ mother and half-sister. The actress said that acting on the Starz series is “a dream come true.”
“I just get to sink my teeth into a role and get to create this amazing arc of this character,” she said. “I get to look into the camera and do verse with a tennis racket…I get to do things that actors with a character don’t normally get to do.”
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Cephas Jones was in the 2018 film, but co-star Hunt came to the role of Rainey in a rather unconventional way, with Casal gauging her interest in a part over social media. They eventually met up.
“I’ve never had a job happen this way…maybe it’s the best way to get a job. Hang out, watch movies and get a job,” she said.
During the panel, Diggs also spoke about highlighting Bay Area culture through dance and choreography and using it as a way to illustrate what’s going on inside heads of the protagonists. The panelist also spoke about Cephas Jones’ first scenes in the original movie, gaining new perspectives through the spinoff and more.
Casal executive produces alongside Diggs, Jess Wu Calder and Keith Calder of Snoot Entertainment, and Emily Gerson Saines, Ken Lee, and Tim Palen of Barnyard Projects. Starz’s SVP Original Programming Kathryn Tyus-Adair oversees for the network with Maggie Leung and Claire Wendlandt overseeing on behalf of Lionsgate.
Check out the panel video above.
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