How Taye Diggs Is Changing To Make a Better Life for His Son

Updated: Apr. 02, 2024

The actor kicks off Earth Month discussing how he leads by example to live consciously: "I want to leave an Earth that he can live in."

At 53, triple-threat actor, dancer and singer Taye Diggs is still thinking about the future—and not just for himself. 

Diggs’ career spans the stage and screen, including starring roles in the original Broadway cast of Rent, the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff series Private Practice, and, going way back, the classic movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Diggs is also raising his 15-year-old son Walker with former wife Idina Menzel and says fatherhood is the role that’s inspired him to think more about a healthy planet for the next generation.

For his new partnership with eco laundry strips brand Tru Earth, Taye Diggs sat down with The Healthy by Reader’s Digest to talk about leading by example, aging mindfully, and the self-care practice he’s “addicted” to. 

Taye Diggs near a washing machineCourtesy Tru Earth

The Healthy by Reader’s Digest: Tell us more about your partnership with Tru Earth. Why is sustainability such an important cause to you? 

Taye Diggs: It’s important. I have a child, to put it bluntly, and now I’m realizing I want to leave an Earth that he can live in. 

For example, washing clothes. Instead of using the big plastic containers that have the detergent in them, [Tru Earth] came up with these little strips, you rip them in half, throw them in your laundry, and your wash is done. It may not be as much as other people, but it makes me feel like I’m contributing and I feel better about myself. And I know that it’s helping the Earth as well. 

The Healthy: The little things can make such a difference. Hand in hand with that, you mentioned your son. Are there any ways you’re making sure he grows up caring for the planet? 

Taye Diggs: Well, he follows by example. He’s at an age where he can’t be told what to do. So I’m just leading by example, he sees me doing what I’m doing. 

Guest, Walker Nathaniel Diggs, and Taye Diggs attend the 54th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 25, 2023 in Pasadena, California.Kayla Oaddams/getty images
Taye Diggs with a friend and son Walker Nathaniel Diggs at the NAACP Image Awards in February 2024.

The Healthy: That’s great. I would love to talk more generally about health and wellness with you. We’ve seen your Instagram posts—you’ve got energy, man. But you’ve also talked about dealing with insomnia.

Taye Diggs: I can’t stress enough to go to your doctor and discuss these issues. Sleep is one of those things that we don’t think is real, but I can tell you from experience that the long-term effects can be pretty staggering. It was affecting how I was behaving with my son. It was affecting my work and my memory. So once I went to my doctor and we discussed it, he put me on a drug called QUVIVIQ. And after a couple of weeks, I was getting the sleep I needed and could see the difference. 

The Healthy: Are there any go-to healthy meals for you and your son, or workouts you love? 

Taye Diggs: Oh, I try to stay active. I try to exercise. The older I get, the more aware I’m of what I’m putting into my body with supplements, and it’s fun to kind of include him. But I think it’s just awareness. What people do specifically, that’s up to them. Everybody’s body is different. But once you’re aware, then it’s a whole new game.

The Healthy: Self-care can be an important part of listening to and caring for your whole body. Are there any self-care routines or practices that you can’t skip? 

Taye Diggs: Oh, for me, meditation. Meditating, and instead of reading, I listen to audiobooks. That’s huge for me. It’s meditative, and I love hearing different people’s perspectives in their own voices. That has an effect on me that I’ve gotten addicted to. But like I said before: Being aware that you need self-care, that’s more than half the battle. 

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.