Daveed Diggs Hopes CENTRAL PARK Will Bring Audiences Joy
Apple TV+ is set to debut Central Park, a brand new musical animated series from Josh Gad, Loren Bouchard, and Nora Smith. The series follows the Tillermans, a family that lives in Central Park. Owen, the park manager, and Paige, his journalist wife, raise their kids Molly and Cole in the world's most famous park, while fending off hotel heiress Bitsy Brandenham and her long suffering assistant Helen, who would love nothing more than to turn the park into condos.
Daveed Diggs, who is best-known for starring as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in Hamilton, voices Helen in the series. Diggs shared how he got involved with the project saying, "For me it was the people, really. Josh [Gad] asked and told me who else was involved and without even really knowing anything about the project I said yes. Some of my dearest friends were already involved in it and some people who I had yet to meet, but have been a fan of for a long time, like Stanley, so that was really what attracted me to it."
When asked about the process of creating the voice for Helen, Diggs said, "I tried some things up front which were all shot down." Diggs then joked, "I kept being told that my own voice was totally appropriate for this elderly white woman, so I don't know what that says about me."
Diggs is an accomplished stage performer, and he opened up about what it's like singing for animation. "I think you get to emote with your full body, you guys just don't see that part," he said." "What I do is probably a lot less self conscious than anything I've ever done on stage. I know nobody's seeing it, so whatever I have to do to get the point across vocally is what I do. I imagine it may be some of the best performing of my life, but also thank God nobody will ever see it," joked Diggs.
Diggs also discussed the process of recording his lines, and shared how the writing is so strong that he often laughs during takes. "Pretty much the first time I read a scene for the microphone I'm laughing through the whole thing - it's a wasted take," Diggs said.
Diggs shared the majority of his scenes with Stanley Tucci, who plays Helen's boss Bitsy, and Diggs explains what the recording process is like for their scenes. "You record at different points in the process, so, occasionally I'll get to be recording and there's already some track that Stanley has laid down, but sometimes also it's Loren doing every voice, which is also fun," Diggs explained.
The series, which takes place in New York City's famed Central Park, is set to premiere on May 29, when most of America will still be dealing with some sort of a quarantine or social distancing measure. Diggs shared what he hopes that audiences watching the show will take from the series, saying, "I hope people find a lot of joy in it."
"I think one of the nice things about this show, I hope - at least when I watch it, is that it can be a reminder of what it's like to be in a public place with a lot of people around you and not be worried about it. And also because it's animated, I don't find myself worried about those people," Diggs continued.
Don't miss the debut of Central Park this Friday, May 29, exclusively on Apple TV+!