Donald Glover is one of the hottest stars in Hollywood. The 33-year-old has just been signed to play the young Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo Star Wars film.
In recent days it was also announced Glover will voice Simba in the live-action remake of The Lion King; and he has a major role in the new Spiderman: Homecoming movie.
Adding to his resume, Glover has also just released a new album Awaken, My Love! under his Childish Gambino rap moniker.
But his biggest acclaim right now has come with hit TV comedy series, Atlanta which follows university dropout Earnest Marks’ (Glover) as he attempts to manage his cousin’s (Brian Tyree Henry) rap career.
Before Atlanta (which won Glover this year’s Golden Globe for best comedy actor) the actor was best known to TV audiences as Troy Barnes in cult comedy series Community. Atlanta feels very different to a traditional American sitcom. It isn’t always laugh-out-loud funny and there is an element of danger to it. Why is that? The thesis with Atlanta was to show people how it felt to be black. You can’t really write that down. You have to feel it. So the tonal aspect was really important. You are allowed to laugh at the characters but you can also feel real stakes so that you care about them. I want people to be scared. That is how it feels to be black.
Atlanta is a departure from Community and Childish Gambino. How important was it to be able to show another side to your talent? What was important for me was that this show was personal. That is all you can really ask from a show nowadays – having a specific view on something. I grew up in Atlanta and everybody there has a philosophy. You’ll get an Uber and the driver will tell you things like how you should be vegan. (Locals) have a very active dialogue about how things are, how things were, and how things should be.
How do you reflect on your experience on Community? The director wanted you back for a final season, but...no? I had so much fun on Community. It wasn’t like I wanted to run away from that (but) I just like endings. Everything should have death clauses in them. Humans have death clauses. Thank God. One day Trump is going to die. That is guaranteed. That is awesome. It is important that things end. I’m glad things end because it forces things to progress. I get really frustrated with the world because I see a lot of things that could be better but aren’t better because things haven’t died yet.
WATCH ATLANTA, SBS VICELAND, TUESDAY, 9.20PM
“The thesis with Atlanta was to show people how it felt to be black. I want people to be scared”
DONALD GLOVER ON HIS ROLE
Donald Glover as Earnest Marks in Atlanta.