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‘Blindspotting’: Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal Initially Didn’t Want to Adapt the Film to TV

For Diggs and Casal, moving the focus to Ashley, Jasmine Cephas Jones' character, was a creative way to evolve the story.

It isn’t often you hear the creator of a television show discuss how they initially didn’t want to take on a project. But that’s how “Blindspotting” co-creator and executive producer Daveed Diggs tells the story. For Diggs and fellow creator Rafael Casal, they didn’t necessarily want to create a moment-by-moment adaptation of their 2018 movie for television.

Instead, they decided to transition the show to focus on the character of Ashley (Jasmine Cephas Jones), who was a supporting character in the movie. The Starz show follows Ashley as she navigates raising her son after her partner of 12 years, Miles (Casal) is incarcerated for drugs.

With Cephas Jones taking center stage it was an opportunity to explore the world of being a single mother, as well as show the relationship between Ashley and Miles. “In order to root for Ashley, and want to understand what it is she’s struggling with — what does it meant to be a mother, temporarily, on your own — to know what has been ripped from her … so we can relate to her loss,” said Casal during the series’ press day.

The idea of exploring what happens when a long-term partner is out of the picture is at the heart of “Blindspotting.” It’s a sentiment Cephas Jones discussed when looking at how Ashley finds herself expanded in this series. Cephas Jones explained that Miles pops up in Ashley’s thoughts early in the series to emphasize her inability to make decisions.

Once she starts feeling comfortable being on her own, the concept of her relationship with him will change. “Now she’s gotta navigate this whole life of doing stuff on her own,” Cephas Jones said. “When he comes into her head it’s like her subconscious saying, ‘How do I make this next decision?'”

With the television show, according to Cephas Jones, it was akin to starting from scratch. “It reminds me of theater,” said Cephas Jones, who famously was part of the original Broadway cast of “Hamilton.” “We all come from theater,” she said. “We all love theater so much and to get to use those tools in this TV version and this TV way is really unique.”

“Blindspotting” is now streaming on Starz.

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