The Critic’s Choice Awards will air live this Sunday, January 13th at 6:00pm ET/PT on The CW. This year’s ceremony will be hosted by none other than the star of The CW’s critically acclaimed All American, Taye Diggs.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Diggs about accepting hosting duties, his All American cast mates and playing Santa Claus in January.
MW- Good morning Taye, how are you?
TD- Good man, how are you doing?
MW- Doing well, man doing well. Congrats of the success of your show All American and I want to talk to you about that in a little bit but first off I wanted to get your thoughts on the Critic’s Choice Awards this Sunday where you’ll be pulling hosting duties. What does it mean to you to be able to fill that role as host?
TD- Oh my goodness, it’s an honor and I am humbled. As an actor I’m so aware of the importance of these award shows, especially this one being the critic’s choice. The critics hold a lot of power and influence in this industry so to be able to give out a couple of awards to some very deserving actors based off those critic’s opinions is really great.
Also coming from a music theater background, being in the position to perform, sing and dance with all of these great artists is just a wonderful opportunity that I am looking forward to very, very much.
MW- So we’re actually going to get to see you perform a bit on Sunday night then?
TD- Yes sir, yes sir! That’s always a fun dynamic that’s there and I’m very much looking forward to it. We’re working on the opening number these next couple of days. We have a couple of cute little jokes to throw back and forth with these really talented and deserving artists that will be there.
MW- And you’ve won a few awards in your career as well so you’re no stranger to hearing your name called at an event like this one. Whether it’s from the fans or your peers or the critic’s as is the case this weekend – how does it feel to get that recognition for all your hard work?
TD- Man, I’m loving just sitting here listening to you tell me how talented I am [laughs]. But obviously the art and the work is most important but we would all be fooling ourselves if we didn’t say that it feels good to be recognized. Especially from the people who hold so much influence. So this awards show in that dynamic, it’s a great thing.
To be in the position to surprise people I almost feel like a Santa Claus of sorts. It’s an important position and I’m very humbled.
MW- Christmas in January.
TD- It is, it is. The presents keep coming.
MW- And when you aren’t preparing to host an award show you have your day job where you star on The CW’s All-American which is based on the real life story of former NFL linebacker Spencer Paysinger – what’s the experience been like for you working on this show?
TD- Oh I’m having a really great time. There’s a lot of programming on these days and even so I’m even more proud to be on this show because we’re dealing with a lot of poignant issues that resonate with a lot of people, including myself. We cover race and sex and social economics all with the backdrop of football which is awesome.
Then we have these really great, excellent, fabulous young actors. We’ve been away for a few weeks because of the holidays but we’re back with a really strong episode and we’re excited for people to tune in.
MW- Your character Billy Baker is a coach for the Beverly Hills High School football on the show so of course you have all those younger actors as you mentioned, what’s it like at this point in your career where you are so well established to work with a younger cast? Do you spend a lot of time giving out advice on set?
TD- These actors are so professional and so unbelievably talented, nobody needs my help. It is great though being around all that youthful energy and seeing this experience through their eyes because I’ve been there. I’m nowhere near as talented, especially at that age, but it’s great seeing their perspective.
This is the first big thing for a lot of these actors and it’s been great. I feel very lucky. We have a really great collective and I’m looking forward to continuing.
MW- Last question now before I let you off the hook here. Billy Baker is a football coach and we’ve got the NFL playoffs going on right now so can I get a Super Bowl prediction out of you?
TD- [Laughs] I’m trying to figure that out, it’s a tough one for me. I think I have to get back to you on that one.
MW- Alright we’ll revisit that one next time. Good luck on Sunday with the Critic’s Choice Awards and moving forward with All American!
TD- Thanks a lot Matt, take care!
Tune into The CW this Sunday for the Critic’s Choice Awards at 6:00 PM ET/PT and don’t miss an all-new episode of All American on January 16th at 8:00 PM ET/PT. Check your local listings for more information.