Taye Diggs Talks ‘Private Practice’ and the Joy of Fatherhood

by | December 3, 2009 at 10:18 AM | Matt's TV News

Taye Diggs (ABC)

Taye Diggs (ABC)

Taye Diggs is dealing with “Daddy” issues, both at work and at home.

On ABC’s ‘Private Practice‘ – which this Thursday is offering up two new episodes (starting at 9/8c) – Sam is about to get stunned by news about his teenage daughter, while in real life Diggs is playing pop to a 3-month-old son. The actor gave us a look at what’s ahead for Dr. Sam Bennett (including what’s to come of that kiss with Addison!), shared his intimate thoughts on being an actual dad, and also revealed why he’s “moonlighting” on a certain ABC comedy.

For more scoop on ‘Private Practice’s’ “explosive” double bill, read this week’s Big Tease.

The summary for the first of this week’s two ‘Private Practice’ episodes reads: “Sam and Naomi deal with a family crisis when they discover their daughter is growing up way too fast.” Is this a case of, “Egads, we found a condom in Maya’s Hello Kitty purse”?
[Laughs] Well, we don’t know whether or not she’s actually sexually active, but it scares us both. Naomi handles it a little differently than Sam, but Maya definitely needs a talking to. It brings Sam and Naomi together a little bit more, physically, as we spend time dealing with this obstacle.

What is Sam’s point of view?
At first he doesn’t know for a fact what’s going down, so he’s a bit more relaxed [than Naomi]. I feel like if we just have a talk with Maya and remind her how to be responsible, she’ll heed our warnings.

Does a part of you prefer these parenting stories to the medical drama?
I like it all. They just introduced heart surgery [as something Sam can do] and I would be lying if I said it wasn’t fun. You as an actor actually get a high, because when you get in there with that “blood” and these life-like organs, you really feel like you’re doing something.

Tim Daly has at times been outspoken on Pete’s assigned take on certain issues. Have you ever disagreed with how Sam sided on something?
I have, I have. In the past, with respect to the relationship Sam has with Naomi, if I were his friend I would have told him to grow a pair. He had kind of let Naomi walk all over him, so I’ve been very pleased to see him stand up on his own two feet.

Will there be any follow-up to the kiss Sam and Addison shared a couple of weeks ago? Or was that a matter of the writers saying, “Let’s just check this off our list”?
They play all the storylines close to the vest…. I know that the seed is planted and the two of them work together, so they will have to deal with that, even if it’s a matter of there being a bit more tension in the workplace. But the possibility is there, looming.

Andrea Anders and Taye Diggs on Better Off Ted. (ABC)

Andrea Anders and Taye Diggs on Better Off Ted. (ABC)

It actually looks like the next on-screen “action” you’ll be getting is with Andrea Anders in the ‘Better Off Ted‘ season premiere (airing December 8).
Yeah, it was great fun to go over there. Jay Harrington is one of my best friends from college [Syracuse University], and he did some work on ‘Private Practice’ as well, so it was cool to return the favor.

Your and Andrea’s characters are genetically matched and thus encouraged to date by Veridian Dynamics. Are you more into her than vice versa?
I think so; that’s the vibe that I got. It was fun putting on the comedic hat for a bit. I’m a huge fan of that show and Jay does a great job on it.

OK, now serve up some scoop for my twin 7-year-old sons: Will you be voicing Black Panther on ‘The Super Hero Squad Show’ again?
I would love that, man! But I have no idea. That may have just been a one-off.

Speaking of kids, you and your wife (Tony winner Idina Menzel) have a 3-month-old son at home. How is fatherhood working for you?
I am loving it. It’s nothing compared to what “Wifey” has to deal with but he’s a great little guy. Words can’t express…. I have something new to look forward to every day when I come home.

Have you discovered anything different about yourself through the experience?
Just that I’m feeling things that I haven’t felt before. As a 38-year-old, that’s kind of weird; at this age you figure you’ve pretty much felt everything. But this is completely new and I’m digging it.

How is wee Walker’s singing voice shaping up?
If it has anything to do with his crying, he’s go to have some serious pipes. He can get up there! [Laughs]

Want scoop about ‘Private Practice,’ ‘Better Off Ted’ or any other TV show? Have a burning question you want answered? Email MattMtvguy@gmail.com and read The Big Tease every Tuesday at Fancast!