Taye Diggs: Actor, Parent, Author

The talented Diggs opens up about fatherhood, working out, and his new kids' book.

Medically Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on September 12, 2012
4 min read

We're just coming off a night where Walker woke up at 5 a.m. and wouldn't go back to sleep. It's not for the faint of heart! I'd say sleep before you have any young ones. But it's a wonderful project in life, trying to raise this other person. He can be a buddy, then we're mentoring him, then he's teaching us.

We're both. We like to set up parameters, then every once in a while stray from them. Everything in moderation. That's what's most natural and what makes the most sense for us.

Before Walker was born, my heart belonged to Idina. I thought I knew what love was. After he was born, it felt as if I grew another heart. It's a type of love I had no idea I was capable of, and there are times when it's unsettling because it's made me feel more vulnerable than ever before. If anything happened to this little guy ... I literally can't even [allow] the thought to enter my head. I tailspin. I'm a lot nicer to my mom now. If my son treats me the same way I treated my mother in the past, I'll be heartbroken! At some point he's not going to want to hang out with me -- and it just kills me.

I wouldn't be performing if not for her, or have written the book. She made it known to me at a very early age that I needed to have a strong sense of self, regardless of what others might think. Kids at school, they tell you how you should be, dress, talk -- it never felt right. Mom would say, "You stick to what you do -- you're going to be great." Both of my parents instilled that in me. And already we're starting that with Walker.

It was a poem based upon an event that happened when I was 5 or 6 years old. I wrote it during a very reflective stage. Then I put it away for years. My best friend from childhood, illustrator Shane W. Evans, remembered me writing that poem and thought it would make a great children's book. He was already an established illustrator, so working with him involved going into the deal with publishers, contracts, and all that.

I do, 100%. Everything in moderation. I never approach anything in the extreme, because that makes things rigid. I have a sensible, logical perspective. You've got to think positive, and things will be positive. Whatever you put into your body is what you get back. That said, I love a burger. And I love my sweets!

The gym. I'm addicted to the gym, and I love to stay active. Everybody in the family, from Idina to the nanny, understands that it's a part of my life I need. Nobody tries to mess with it!

Nuts. We grew up with no money whatsoever. We couldn't afford the junk food, and we ate very healthy -- nuts, salads, grains. It's my version of comfort food.

I'm always playing basketball or at the gym, or right now I'm working on a show that I'm choreographing. And whenever it's just Walker and me, we're always out. I gotta leave the house. I gotta keep moving.

Getting old is what I like the least. And what I like the best is the feeling I get. Being raised in the arts, the feeling that sports gives you is completely different. Performing, for me, has a lot to do with the audience, their response, and the high you get when you're on stage. But I could shoot hoops for hours all by myself.

Basketball and gym in the morning, then a great family day with my wife and Walker, going somewhere outside, just watching him, relishing the outdoors. Then putting him down and having the evening for just my wife and me -- a great dinner and seeing a show in New York City. That's perfection.

We want to build upon Chocolate Me! with T-shirts, children's hair products, and skin care. At its core, it's about self-appreciation and a healthy sense of self. From there it expands and becomes more universal. The title suggests it's directed more toward African-Americans, but we're all in this together.

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