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Taye Diggs Didn’t Want to Appear on ‘Rent Live’ With Original Broadway Cast at First

Taye Diggs was initially reluctant to join the rest of the original Broadway cast of Rent in FOX’s Rent Live on Sunday, January 27, but now he’s “Over the Moon” about the experience.

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The 48-year-old actor, who played Benny in the hit musical’s 1996 Broadway debut and the 2005 film adaptation, literally sang his praises of the live TV event in an Instagram video later that night.

“I just left the live Rent performance on FOX TV,” Diggs sang to the tune of “Seasons of Love,” the musical’s best-known number. “And I am thinking about a lot of stuff now. At first, I didn’t want to do it because I thought it might be cheesy. But when I got there, I really was surprised. I had a good time. I saw all of my old-ass friends, and they still look really good.”

Taye Diggs Didnt Want To Do Rent Live
Taye Diggs attends the 24th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 13, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. John Shearer/Getty Images

He continued: “Motherf—king Rent. It was so surreal. It was really surreal watching really young people play the part. They could have been all of our children.”

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The All-American star reunited with original Rent stars Anthony Rapp, Adam Pascal, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Jesse L. Martin, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, Fredi Walker and Idina Menzel — to whom Diggs was married from 2003 to 2014 — to sing “Seasons of Love” during Sunday’s broadcast.

For the live FOX event, their roles were played by Mario, Jordan Fisher, Brennin Hunt, Tinashe, Brandon Victor Dixon, Valentina, Kiersey Clemons and Vanessa Hudgens, respectively. Hunt had broken his ankle during a dress rehearsal, so much of Sunday broadcast was pre-recorded, but the closing number and the Broadway reunion was all filmed live.

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Menzel also hailed the experience via Instagram on Sunday night, filming a clip backstage alongside Walker and Rubin-Vega, as well as Tracie Thoms and Rosario Dawson, who appeared in the film. “I just want to say for those who just rocked it, you were awesome,” Menzel, 47, told the new cast.

In another clip, the Wicked alum described Rent Live as a “great experience,” adding, “Hope you all liked it. It was great to be back with the family and meet lots of new people.”

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