*All eight episodes of Starz’ new TV show “Blindspotting” are now streaming.
The show picks up roughly six months after the story line in the (2018) movie – where the relationship between Colin (Daveed Diggs) and Miles (Rafael Casal) was highlighted – the series flips the camera to focus on the women standing beside these men; Ashley (Jasmine Cephas Jones), Trish (Jaylen Barron), Janelle (Candace Nicholas-Lippman), and Rainey (Helen Hunt).
EUR correspondent Tifarah Dixon talked to the series creators, Diggs and Casal about the inspiration behind the franchise and the character they love.
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Tifarah Dixon: “Blindspotting” touches on colorism, racism, and police brutality; one of the more prominent focus-points is criminal-justice reform. What led you to focus the show (and movie) around this social topic?
Rafael Casal: I don’t even know what the answer to the movie is anymore…we were trying to find a project to do together. We started working on the film about 13 years ago and the big catalyst, was that Oscar Grant had just been killed at Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland. We were trying to tell a uniquely “Bay Town” story…
When we were talking about how to tackle the show we asked ourselves, ‘what’s the experience of the family when somebody gets incarcerated?’ We’ve seen a lot of shows try to paint what it’s like in jail, what it’s like in a women’s jail – how violent it is, and how funny it can be – but Daveed and I have personally experienced what it’s like for our friends to go away and disappear and for us to just kind of lose them for a while. We’ve witnessed a lot of mothers go through that. We were like, ‘we should write about that! We should bring in people who understand that world and can expand it with us.’
Tifarah Dixon: How did you come to the decision to do a TV show?
Daveed Diggs: Lionsgate pitched the idea of a TV show to us and we weren’t really thinking about it; we were like, ‘Nah! We spent 10 years writing that film; we’re trying to do other things.’ But they wanted to have the meeting anyway. So we sat down and figured out what would make us excited to do this. The character of Ashley was one we felt was undeserved in the film because the film had to be streamlined. Here was an opportunity to revisit a character we loved; and to expand the view on the Bay area. We dropped ourselves into a similar place but really got to tell the story from a woman’s perspective. It got exciting again…to be able to learn and discover again; and that’s really the secret sauce of a TV show! As a creator, you have to be excited to keep learning about ‘the thing’. You have to keep discovering it! Once we realized we would get to write for Ashley it was like, ‘oh there’s a lot to discover here for a character we already love.’
All episodes of “Blindspotting” are currently available on Starz. For more details visit @blindspottingTV on Twitter or @blindspottingstarz on Instagram.