Two stars of Broadway’s hit “Hamilton” hip-hopped their way from the American Revolution to a TV institution.
Daveed Diggs, who kills it on Broadway as Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette, and Anthony Ramos, who portrays John Laurens and Philip Hamilton, play an attorney and an accused rapist on Wednesday’s “Law & Order: SVU.”
The episode, “Forty-One Witnesses,” evokes the Kitty Genovese story, the infamous 1964 horror featuring neighbors who heard a young woman getting murdered but did not get involved.
Diggs delved into reading up on the crime for this role, his second time playing defense attorney Louis Henderson. Diggs even talked to friends who are lawyers.
Ramos was unaware of the event that defined for a generation the idea of an uncaring city. But the actor read about the case and especially drew from more personal experience — though he never committed a felony.
“I wasn’t the well-behaved kid when I was a teenager, so let me tap into that,” Ramos says. “I wasn’t a rapist. Wipe the sweat off your forehead on that one. Take the worst thing I have done and take it a step further to play the character. I have stolen and broken into people’s houses when I was a kid. We are in ‘Hamilton’ now and life has turned around — praise the Lord.”
Daveed Diggs, who plays Thomas Jefferson in Broadway’s smash “Hamilton” returns as defense attorney Louis Henderson in Wednesday’s “Law&Order:SVU.”
Ramos wound up being on set nine days, missing three performances of “Hamilton.” Diggs, who is only in courtrooms scenes, did the TV work for three days and didn’t miss any Broadway performances.
The “Law & Order” shows have long tapped New York theater actors as guest stars. The “SVU” show, the last surviving incarnation still in production, was just renewed for an 18th season.
“That’s the great thing about how ‘SVU’ works,” Diggs says. “They work with so many Broadway actors, they are very used to getting us out in time for the show. I have to be at the theater by 6:30 — and they do it.”
Diggs hopes his Henderson character becomes a recurring role.
“I will come back every time they ask me to come back,” he says. “It’s such a different way to develop a character, learning more piecewise. It’s so different from working on a play, where you learn the whole life of a person.”
In Wednesday’s “Law & Order: SVU” Anthony Ramos took a little break playing Philip Hamilton in Broadway’s “Hamilton” to play a suspect who is about to be questioned by Ice-T as Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola, Kelli Giddish as Detective Amanda Rollins.
Ramos says he isn’t sure how his character could return — but he wasn’t giving away the episode’s ending. He did, however, relate a moment he shared with the show’s star, Mariska Hargitay.
“Mariska and I were just having a chat and she said, ‘We have to find a way to write you in again,’” Ramos says. “If I do get convicted of this crime, I don’t see how they will do that.”
Still, Ramos adds: “I would love to come back to ‘Law & Order.’”
Amped about his debut on the TV crime drama, Ramos’ family is gathering at his aunt’s Bushwick home to watch. And Diggs says his family is more excited about him being on “SVU” than in Broadway’s biggest hit.