Taye Diggs and his actress wife Idina Menzel met in 1996 while costarring in the Broadway show Rent, got married in 2003 and had their son Walker in 2009. And in all those years, Diggs says the most romantic thing he ever did for his wife was buy her a house. “I think that’s pretty romantic,” the actor tells iVillage in an exclusive interview. “A house and a car — from a male perspective, I think that’s as romantic as it can get!”
On his ABC hit medical drama Private Practice, Diggs, 39, knows how to make the ladies swoon. In the show’s season finale, his Dr. Sam Bennett finally got together with the show’s leading lady, Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh). “Obviously, there’s a future,” he says of the small-screen pairing. “I just don’t know if their future is going to be them joined together. It would be fun to play as an actor.”
iVillage caught up with Diggs at an Alpo event that celebrated “real dogs” (not the ones who wear sweaters and go to doggie spas) and the actor dished about how his own pooch, Sammy Davis Jr., prepared him for fatherhood, the funniest thing his son does (it involves the bathroom!) and if he’ll guest star on Glee.
When did you get your dog, Sammy Davis Jr.?
Five years ago as a birthday/Christmas present from my wife.
Did getting Sammy help prepare you for fatherhood at all?
In a weird way, because before I had a baby, I hated people comparing a baby to a dog, but there are a lot of similarities — the responsibility, and when a dog is really, really young, you have to really look after it. And a lot of times, in the beginning stages, caring for a baby can be a little bit easier because you don’t have to take it out. A baby just goes to the bathroom in the diaper.
How has becoming a dad changed you?
You find yourself capable of feelings inside of you that you never knew existed. It’s a very weird feeling.
Do you sing to Idina?
We sing to each other constantly. It’s not necessarily romantic. Especially with the boy, with the young one, we’re constantly singing to him. It’s like three made-up new songs a day. We have three or four oldies but goodies.
You should make a kids’ record.
We’ve thought about that. To just dedicate it to Walker. We’ll think about that.
Does Walker already sing?
Right now he has this kind of sexy, gravelly kind of scream when he’s annoyed. So we’ll see. It’s really exciting, just kind of waiting to see how he’s going to turn out. If he’s going to be an athlete or an artist or actor or singer, scientist or mathematician. It’s really interesting.
What’s the funniest thing Walker does?
The faces he used to make when he’s going to the bathroom. (Laughs)
Do you plan on showing him Rent?
Sure, absolutely! Yeah, we’re proud of that. I’m proud of that. Absolutely. 100 percent. I can’t wait until he gets to make the correlation between the person that is his father and what I do for a living. I think that will be cool.
Moving on to Private Practice, do you think Sam and Addison should be together?
I’ve been enjoying it. I know a lot of people have issues. But a lot of times with viewers, I don’t think they get the idea that when they don’t like something, that oft times that makes for great television. It’d be pretty boring if all Addison was was Little Miss Goody Two Shoes. Then people wouldn’t watch because the show would be boring. I think it’s good that people have such strong reactions to some of the behaviors on the show. So, I’m all for it.
What will happen next season now that everyone is in happy relationships?
We’ll see. But there’s drama underneath every single one of these relationships. Whereas we all work together, so even though everybody seems to be happy, once we go to work and Pete (Tim Daly) sees me or Addison sees Violet (Amy Brenneman), it’s a bit like junior high school. It’ll be interesting.
What are the chances we’ll see Idina guest star on Private Practice again as a love interest for Pete?
I don’t know. Maybe she can come back and be the temptress. She’s enjoying her schedule just because of the baby, so I know that she’s not going to want to do anything that’s too time-consuming.
Do you watch Idina on Glee?
Yes, this last episode she sang and my TiVo did not set it here in New York, so that really pissed me off.
Is there any truth to the rumor that we might see you on Glee?
I mean, no. Not anytime soon. I think that’s good, because I think they pepper the show nicely with outside talent. I think they’ve made some really good choices in the past. It’s a lot of hard work. I don’t know if I could work that hard (Laughs)! I know that they take their show very seriously, so you know, if they’re willing to have me, I’m here. I’m around. It would be a ball.