Daveed Diggs had to overcome his vocal limitations to play Sebastian in ‘The Little Mermaid’.
The 41-year-old actor voices the crab in the live-action take of the classic Disney movie and explained how he tried to perform at his best despite a lack of traditional vocal training.
Speaking to Variety, Daveed Diggs said: “Vocally, what we ended up on is a nod to the Sebastian that everybody knows and loves but also is what my voice is capable of doing, both singing and speaking.”
Daveed Diggs added, “It was this process of trying things out with the various coaches to get a thing that feels consistent with who the crab is.”
The star did his best to pay homage to Samuel E. Wright’s performance in the original film but is unsure if it will have the same impact on a modern audience.
He said: “That performance is a thing that sits with me. I don’t know if this (version) is gonna work like that for kids – we’ll see.”
Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda penned a new track for the movie called ‘The Scuttlebutt’ – which features Scuttle (Awkwafina) and Sebastian in a rap battle – and Daveed Diggs loved getting to perform the song.
The ‘Hamilton’ star said: “His speech patterns are so familiar to me. Rap music, for people who don’t make rap music, feels like a magic trick. But it’s just like anything else.”
Praising Awkwafina’s rapping ability, Daveed Diggs added: “Her performance is insane – to be doing what she’s doing in that voice and all those characterisations.
“The rap battle (between us) at the end is just icing on the cake, like candy. It didn’t take much work.”