Daveed Diggs to Play Abolitionist Leader Frederick Douglass in Showtime Slavery Drama The Good Lord Bird

Daveed Diggs Frederick Douglass

Best known for his Tony Award-winning turn as Hamilton‘s Thomas Jefferson, Daveed Diggs is now preparing to embody a very different historical figure. The actor will play slave-turned-abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass in Showtime’s upcoming limited series The Good Lord Bird, the network announced Friday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

Diggs can also be seen in the upcoming TBS series Snowpiercer. His previous small-screen credits include roles on ABC’s black-ish, Netflix’s The Get Down and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Based on James McBride’s 2013 novel, The Good Lord Bird chronicles the bond between abolitionist John Brown (played by Ethan Hawke) and a slave known as Onion (Joshua Johnson-Lionel). Both men eventually take part in the 1859 raid on a United States arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Va., a critical event that sparked the Civil War.

It was also announced on Friday that Wyatt Russell (Lodge 49) will recur on The Good Lord Bird as Confederate general-to-be Jeb Stewart. The eight-episode series is being co-written by Hawke and Mark Richard (Fear the Walking Dead), while Albert Hughes (The Book of Eli) will direct.

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