Set in Oakland, Premiering in Oakland: 'Blindspotting' actors share pride

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The third major movie about Oakland, premiering in Oakland this year just hit the silver screen at Grand Lake Theatre. (KGO-TV)

The third major movie about Oakland, premiering in Oakland this year just hit the silver screen at Grand Lake Theatre.

It was an emotional homecoming for the stars and writers of "Blindspotting," Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, who grew up together in the East Bay.

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As juxtaposing images of an old and evolving Oakland cut across the screen, a theater cheered in pride for their town and the artists behind the movie.

"I'm going to work very hard not to cry this whole night," said Diggs. "It's so special."

VIDEO: Daveed Diggs shares his Oakland pride and how 'Blindspotting' sheds light on the city
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Daveed Diggs the writer and star of "Blindspotting" shares his Oakland roots and the importance of his new film.


The Grammy and Tony-award winning actor was born in Oakland. He co-wrote and stars in the film with Casal, his friend since their time together at Berkeley High School.

"We wrote it consistently over the last 10 years. There's been a ton of different drafts. We almost made this movie three or four times," Casal said.

"So many of the people who you see here who are just friends are in the movie," said Diggs. "People who we grew up with. It was really really special. You don't get a lot of these moments in your career."

The movie is about friendship but also the reality of life in Oakland. It also grapples with issues like race, class, and family.

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"Look a little bit deeper, there's more here," Casal said.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf helped introduce the movie, the third major Oakland premier this year after Ryan Coogler's "Black Panther" and Boots Riley's "Sorry to Bother You."

Longtime Hollywood actor Ethan Embry, who plays the police officer in the movie, says it's about time Hollywood caught up to the diverse world it's playing to. "People are getting loud enough now that people like me, straight white dudes, are starting to listen up."

VIDEO: Ethan Embry is excited about diversity in Hollywood
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Longtime Hollywood actor Ethan Embry, who plays the police officer in the movie, says it's about time Hollywood caught up to the diverse world it's playing to. "People are getting loud enough now that people like me, straight white dudes, are starting to listen up."


Blindspotting will start showing at Grand Lake Theatre and the Metreon in San Francisco on July 20. It will be available in more theaters the following week.

People said that the ending was excellent, so we'll all have to go to see what happens.

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