Rafael Casal Went To Prison For Season Two of “Blindspotting”
The Writer, Director, Actor, Poet, and Producer Opens Up About His Creative Process on the Hollywood at Home Podcast
Los Angeles, CA (April 25th, 2023): With fan-favorite beginnings at the Sundance Film Festival, “Blindspotting: The Series” recently launched Season 2 with 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. This week, actor and showrunner Rafael Casal sits down with The Creative Coalition’s CEO Robin Bronk as a guest on Hollywood at Home – a podcast featuring the personal stories of Hollywood insiders.
Highlights from Hollywood at Home featuring Rafael Casal:
When YouTube Was A Little Thing and Getting it Together With Daveed Diggs: “I’m 20 years old… running around the country touring with my poetry and music. I’m putting my art on YouTube, which was a little-known thing at the time. Jess Calder, who’s now a producer on almost everything I do, finds my poetry and proposes this idea of me [making] it work in a screenplay. I mentioned it to Daveed <Daveed Diggs>, he was my main music collaborator at the time and we all got together and brainstormed what it would be like to make a movie.”
Being Friends From Childhood Can be Frustrating: “We’ve <Daveed> known each other since high school and right after is when we started really working together… I don’t know if I grew up during high school so much as I just made a ton of mistakes but, on the artistic journey, he and I have been sort of bonded since then… Getting to work on that screenplay for over a decade was so fun and also so immensely frustrating – until we finally got to make it.”
Advocating for Prisoners Through “Blindspotting:” “A lot of us on the creative team all have different experiences with San Quentin… Prior to the show, some of us taught there… I have family members who’ve been sent there… San Quentin built this weekend visitation program for certain inmates to stay connected to their families… It’s about trying to fight recidivism… It’s a really valuable program for a lot of people. It’s the lifeline for people maintaining their families. It’s our job to just expose people to it and go ‘Here’s the thing that that a prison is doing that’s valuable.’ ”
Learning Backgammon and Life Lessons from Hugh Jackman: “[He’s] a real movie star. He knows everyone’s lines, not just his own. He gets on set and he’s ‘Mr. Loving’… On the last day of shooting… he was like, ‘Oh my god, Rafael, I’m so sorry.’ I was like, ‘For what? What’s the problem?’ He said, ‘I still haven’t seen ‘Blindspotting.’ I replied, ‘Oh that’s OK dude. Watch it whenever, it’s not even out yet.’ He works his angles to get Lionsgate to send him a link in between setups throughout the entire day. He watched ‘Blindspotting’ in 10-minute increments… I’ve never experienced that kind of generosity and support from somebody I just met… With all of his fame and attention, he can be that gracious and that patient and that generous and that kind to everyone around him…”
On Defining Art: “I don’t know, but I certainly think it’s a vehicle for empathy. It’s a way to make personal and emotional connections and sympathize with some part of the human condition.”
Previous guests include Tim Daly (“Madam Secretary”), Iain Armitage (“Young Sheldon”), Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”), Marlee Matlin (“CODA”), Jason Alexander (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Alan Cumming (“Schmigadoon!, “The Good Wife”), Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle”), Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”), Willie Garson (“And Just Like That…”), Colman Domingo (“Euphoria”), Kerry Ehrin (“The Morning Show”), Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Ken Olin (“This is Us,” “Thirtysomething”), Anthony Rapp (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”), and Alfre Woodard (Clemency,” “Luke Cage”), among others.
More about The Creative Coalition:
Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating its members on issues of public importance. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President. For more information, visit https://thecreativecoalition.org.
Marvin Roca Jr.