(CBS Local)– Taye Diggs has been one of the biggest names in Hollywood for decades. The actor currently stars as Coach Billy Baker in “All American” on The CW and has been in movies like “The Best Man” and “Rent.” Diggs was also a part of the original cast of “Rent” on Broadway and it remains one of the most successful shows in Broadway history.

CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith caught up with Diggs to discuss his career on the stage and on screen, the impact of his father who served in the military and the work he is doing with USAA.

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“I want everyone to take a moment to remember everyone who has given their lives and so much more for this country,” said Diggs. “It’s in the little things in the way my father would talk about the way he served. It commanded a certain level of respect. Him planting that little seed has kind of affected how I look at the world. It’s very easy to take for granted certain freedoms that we have and why we have these freedoms.”

Diggs’ father and step-father both served in the military and they were instrumental in molding him into the man he is today. While the actor has been in a lot of great projects over the years, one of the biggest ones recently has been “All American” on The CW. The show exploded in popularity during the pandemic when it made its way to Netflix.

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“What’s been great is the quick turnover in how many fans are with us,” said Diggs. “The first season, we didn’t even know if we would continue that season. This business is so crazy and at the drop of a hat everything could change and that’s what it did. We are very thankful and fortunate.”

In addition to his work on the screen, Diggs’ time on the stage was incredibly impactful. The actor starred as Benny in the smash hit “Rent” and he still remembers how the show went from a little Broadway production to a mega hit and a show that was eventually turned into a movie.

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“It was awesome. I don’t know if it is because I am getting older, but I often think back to certain times in my life,” said Diggs. “It was just a great time. We were all young and at the beginning of our careers. We were all very excited to be working. We were blessed with such a piece that had such an effect on the world. I had no idea, I thought it was a solid piece of music theater, but I had no idea that would affect people in the way it did. That was one of the first small miracles of my career.”