By Amy Chesler
There are few actors today as talented as triple-threat Taye Diggs. And as he just celebrated his 48th birthday a few weeks ago (which I can hardly believe), I thought I’d do a post to discuss his diverse career. So, here are my top 8 favorite Taye Diggs screen credits in no particular order (although it was hard to choose just these).
Picture this: your first date in the theaters and there’s no one in the vast space but your date and you. And a massive screen devoted to the creepy horror remake, House on Haunted Hill. Yep, that’s how I watched it for the first time. I forgot about my high school crush and fell for Taye In it, where he plays a pro baseball player invited to a wicked dinner party at an abandoned, haunted mansion. And all cliches aside, Taye- um, I mean, this psychological thriller- will keep your heart stammering.
Whether you’ve lost your groove or not, Winston Shakespeare will surely inspire you. Taye plays this younger love interest opposite Angela Bassett in How Stella Got Her Groove Back. After Stella’s girlfriends steal her away to Jamaica to let loose, she ends up finding what she least expects - a deep connection with a studly Winston. Totally what daydreams are made of.
Chicago has it all: murder, mystique, romance, and betrayal. Oh, and Taye, of course! As the narrator of the 20’s-set tale, he introduces us to some of Broadways most colorful characters. Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) and Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones) are Death Row darlings vying for the public’s favor, and the potential to be pardoned. This movie is wickedly entertaining, and if it’s been ages since you’ve seen it, now is the time to re-rent.
Speaking of epic musicals (and rent), there is of course, Rent. Not only is Taye in the film version, but he is also one of the founding members of its Broadway cast, too. Taye plays Benny, landlord to a heap of struggling young New Yorkers who has sights on bigger and better things. Although this is not his film debut, his role in the Broadway play can be considered his breakout role, so it’ll always have a special place in my heart.
There are few shows as captivating as Empire, the story of Lucious Lion (Terence Howard) and his self-built hip-hop kingdom. Lucious finds out he’s terminally ill and, along with his recently incarcerated ex-wife (played by Taraji P. Henson), must choose a business successor from his children. Taye steps in during Season 3 as a politician and Henson’s love interest, inherently making the series (somehow) even better.
As if Christmas isn’t stressful enough, 1999 introduced us to the crime-comedy Go. It’s a fast-paced multi-perspective movie that gives us glimpses of an insane holiday eve full of drugs, betrayal, narcs, and a very supportive, along-for-the-madness, Taye. Le sigh.
Malibu’s Most Wanted may be my guiltiest pleasure, but I think it really didn’t get the ‘cred’ it deserved. You’ve got Jamie Kennedy as the son of a politician who’s been kidnapped in order to be ‘scared straight.’ Then, of course there’s Anthony Anderson and Taye that Ryan O’Neal has hired as actors- er, kidnappers. The hijinx that ensues is ridiculous, yes, but you can’t deny yourself some serious laughs.
Another guilty pleasure of mine is a great crime drama, and Murder in the First was just that. In it Taye plays Terry English, recent widower and SFPD homicide detective. In each episode, Terry explores a homicide case from investigation to criminal courts. And he looks dead sexy doing it.
However, the very best thing about Taye is that he’s a total gentleman, which I know because he escorted me to a wedding last year.
Just kidding, I met him at a conference, but a girl can dream, can’t she?
Amy Chesler is an author, content creator, blogger, and family woman from Los Angeles, California. Her most recent publications include four different contributions in six different Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, as well as her first solo children’s book, A Man and His Books. Follow her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ABCauthor1), Twitter (@abcauthor), or Instagram (@abc_author) for updates, giveaways, and much more!