At 34, Donald Glover has made a career of frustrating people’s expectations of him.
Right now everyone in Hollywood wishes they were him. They wish they had the brain that created “Atlanta”, the funniest and smartest show in a generation. They wish they possessed the charisma that earned him the right to take on the legendary role of Lando Calrissian in “Star Wars”. He’s become one of the most powerful and influential individuals in town.
After “Atlanta”’s debut season, Glover earned a pair of Emmys and a twin set of Golden Globes—the former making him the first African-American to win for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series.
From Esquire. Story by Bijan Stephen.
Maybe you know him as the wonderfully cracked voice behind Tracy Morgan’s Tracy Jordan on “30 Rock”, or as Troy Barnes, the sweet, washed-up quarterback from “Community”. Perhaps you were introduced to him as Childish Gambino, the musician who managed to coax a serious career out of a collegiate dalliance with a Wu-Tang Clan name generator, or you watched his stand-up specials. Or maybe you first saw him as Earn Marks, the lost boy who’s trying to support his daughter, on “Atlanta”. As Troy, Gambino, and Earn—and in movies like “The Martian” and “Magic Mike XXL” —Glover is impossibly compelling.
His obsession with quality—his unshakable sense of his own taste—comes from his mother, who instilled in him a respect for things made well. Glover says it started with fast food. “My mom used to take me to Chick-fil-A. We all know it’s all fast food; none of it’s good for you. But it’s better than McDonald’s. She’d be like, ‘Look at these cups. Look at the color pattern. Look at the way this tastes. Look at how it doesn’t taste great after a couple of hours.’ ”
Glover and his partner, whom he won’t discuss out of concern for her privacy, now have two young children of their own. And while he won’t say how young because he’s ferocious about their privacy, too, he does say that a respect for quality is already something he’s trying to pass down to them—how to recognize what’s good and what’s not, how to consume discerningly.
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