Taye Diggs digs deep on finding happiness after divorce and playing a grief-stricken cop on his gripping new TNT show, Murder in the First. By Kate Sullivan, REDBOOK.
REDBOOK: You're no cop, but you have fought crime. Didn't you tackle someone who broke into your house?
He didn't quite enter, but he was trying to. My little one [son Walker] was home, so my Papa Bear instinct took over and I gave chase. I was cool in the moment, but afterward I realized what could have happened--that's when fear set in.
RB: Your character, Terry, has a terminally ill wife, and in the first episode he loses it at work. Have you ever struggled to keep it together on the job?
Goodness, yes. I'm a happy person, but when I'm confronted with hardships, I'm consumed. I need to learn to channel [my emotions] properly.
I'd be lying if I said there weren't times when I thought, Oh, man, people are going to trip out [if we split]. Maybe they thought it was cute that we met in Rent. There weren't a lot of couples like us in the theater community--and I know there aren't a lot of performers as talented as she is… and then you have the whole mixed [race] thing. It was easy for people to root for us. Right now, we're still trying to figure out a lot of stuff because we're on different coasts and our son is getting older.
RB: That's right, Walker is 4. What's the best part of parenting him, and what's the most challenging?
The best is seeing the expression on his face when I pick him up from school--the way he says "Daddy" is unrivaled by anything. Then the toughest… well, lately, it's leaving for work when I know I have to be away from him for more than a few days. And just the vulnerability. It's weird: You can do whatever with your own life, but when it comes to someone else's, who is your blood, it's a level of vulnerability that I wasn't--that I'm still not--prepared for.
RB: When you last visited REDBOOK, Walker was super into dinosaurs. Is that still true?Oh, 100 percent! The only way he'll play sports is if we pretend the ball is a dinosaur egg. "You've got to get the egg to the mother!" He has to act it out.