Daveed Diggs of Hamilton fame and Rafael Casal co-wrote and starred in the film. Diggs played the role of Collin, a convicted felon struggling to cope with his last three days of probation. Casal portrayed Miles, the lead character, who tries his hardest to stay out of jail.
The actors claim the inspiration for Blindspotting came from real-life experiences they shared growing up. It took them more than a decade to develop the script for the film, and they had no intention of turning it into a television series. When they were approached by Starz to pick up the story where the film left off, they agreed, under one condition.
The focus of the series shifted and brought to light what the women in relationships with incarcerated men must endure to survive. Fans of the show, which is entering its second season, often wonder if the series is based on a true story.
The story behind ‘Blindspotting’
In the film, Collin is almost done with his probation when he witnesses a white cop shoot and kill an unarmed Black man. Later, Collin stands with a gun pointed at a police officer, leaving audiences to wonder if he will make a compassionate choice or pull the trigger.
According to Indiewire, Casal said,
“My favorite thing about the film is that at the end of the movie, an ex-con with a gun on a cop is who you’re rooting for.”
Bustle reported that Diggs said it was vital for the film to be about his hometown, saying, “It is a place that is so alive, and it has such an interesting perspective sort of woven into its history.” He explained that Oakland is an “intellectual hotbed, the birthplace of the Black Panther Party … all of these things are in the DNA of the place, and it comes through in everyday life if you pay attention to it.”
Diggs admits that while Blindspotting is not a true story, the characters and their stories are representative of the diverse group of people from where he grew up.
Why does the series change the focus to Ashley?
The Starz series follows the events that occur six months from where the movie left off. Ashley (Jasmine Cephas Jones), who also starred in Hamilton, played a minor role in the film but is now an integral part of the television series storyline.
When Miles goes to jail, she is suddenly a single mother struggling to stay afloat in a complicated world. According to Refinery 29, “the Starz plot is told almost entirely from her character’s perspective.”
Ashley has no choice but to move in with Miles’ mother (Helen Hunt) and his sister, Trish (Jaylen Barron). Blindspotting still tackles the sensitive subjects of racism, police brutality, and gentrification, but in a different light than the film.
In an interview with Salon, Casala said the series is “not about what it’s like in prison, but what it’s like for everybody else affected by the country’s prison industrial complex.”
‘Blindspotting’ renewed for a second season
Audiences fell in love with the characters of Blindspotting and couldn’t get enough of the show. Starz president and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch told The Hollywood Reporter the series took the comedy genre to a “new level,” saying he couldn’t wait “to see what they have in store for season two.”
Casal and Diggs replied, saying, “We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love for season one and have been hard at work for the last few months crafting the next chapter of this Bay story.”
The co-writers of Blindspotting said, “We are so excited to bring the next season to life with the incredible artistry of our cast and crew and our partners Starz and Lionsgate.” They continued, “They done f—– around and gave us more runway, so welcome back to the ordeal!”
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