Daveed Diggs Says He’s Worked Harder on His ‘Little Mermaid’ Character Sebastian Than Anything Else He’s Done

It was just recently confirmed that Daveed Diggs will star in the upcoming live action adaptation of The Little Mermaid as Sebastian, and now the actor is opening up about the role.

“I worked harder on Sebastian probably than I have for any role in my life,” the 39-year-old actor revealed in a new interview with Collider. “It’s tricky.”

Daveed continued, saying that he tends “to say yes to things when I feel like I can do it, but I’m actually not sure I’m the smart choice or the person naturally who should be doing it. That’s true of Sebastian, for a lot of ways that are uncomfortable.”

“I’m not of Caribbean descent, doing that kind of work and trying to immerse myself. I’ve spent a lot of time in Trinidad and I went to Jamaica to research, and I did a lot of voice work with Chris Walker and with the late Tony Hall, to try to get the voice right,” he added. “But more than the voice, the thing about a dialect is that everybody’s voice is actually very different, so consistency is really more important than accuracy. Your speech pattern is based on culture, and that was the thing I didn’t wanna let down.”

Daveed admits that with his role as Sebastian, he wants “somebody who is from Trinidad or from Jamaica, depending on where we landed with the role, to be able to see themselves in this, in some way.”

He also went on to say that it is cool being part of the film, as he does get to hear most of the new songs before anyone else.

“[It’s] pretty wild. You get to hear a new song before it comes out and it’s amazing, and then you hear the performance of it by an actor you might not expect to be able to do that and that’s also amazing,” he shares. “There are so many cool surprises that I know and I’m just sitting on.”

Daveed will star with Halle Bailey, Melissa McCarthy, Javier Bardem, Jacob Tremblay and Awkwafina in the upcoming film.

Daveed‘s TNT series, Snowpiercer, returns for season two tonight.

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