Donald Glover backstage at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards

January 9, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards took place on January 8, 2017, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

“ATLANTA”

Golden Globe wins:

  • Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical
  • Best Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical (Donald Glover)

Here is what this Golden Globe winner said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.

Donald Glover at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards
Donald Glover at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

Long before it went on the air, “Atlanta” was one of those shows that was predicted to catch on. Did that scare you? Did that encourage you? And then as it became accepted, how did that encourage you?

I always when I heard that kind of stuff, it was just my instinct was to pull back. I guess my instinct is always to under-promise over-deliver. I think the last lens that we have as artist is people’s expectations we’ve done so many things there’s been so many great things already made you know that it’s important to just think about how it’s getting to people, whether it’s through their phones or how they’re hearing about it. My instinct was just kind of pull back. I suppose I was really excited.

I’ve been trying to make the show for a long time. I only cared about what people in Atlanta act like I was like if I can’t walk through a lens like you can name a show “Detroit” and then have Detroit people hate it you know so I really was just only caring about if my parents thought it was cool, my cousins thought it was cool, everybody who lived in Atlanta. If I could go to a Chick-fil-A and have people be like, “Have you seen that Donald Glover show?”

Can you talk about your shout-out to Migos?

I think they’re the Beatles of this generation and they don’t get a lot of respect outside of like Atlanta. Not that they don’t get a lot of respect, but it’s like there’s a generation—sort of like the YouTube generation—there’s a generation of kids that are growing up on something that’s completely separate from a whole group of people. And honestly, that song is just fly—like it there’s no better song to have sex to.

How are you preparing for the role of being the young Lando Calrissian?

Not getting to eat anything enjoyable for the rest of my life. Lando’s a big deal to me. It was just literally the first toy I ever got. It’s interesting when you have something that’s kind of iconic in a range where like people pay attention to it, it’s hard because you want to live up to their expectations but all you really do is live up to your own.

“Star Wars” is really high. I know the directors Chris [Miller] and Phil [Lord] they’re amazing. I love the guy playing Han [Solo]. Like it’s going to be a good time. Emily Clark. It’s going to be fun, so like I’m just getting ready to just have fun with those guys. That’s pretty much it.

You said you’ve been trying to make “Atlanta” for a long time. Did you have a struggle to explain your vision for the show and how you would tackle comedy in a different way than the sitcoms that we have become accustomed to?

I think the best things just can’t be explained … I just kind of Trojan-horsed it. I told FX it was something that it wasn’t, and I then hoped it would be enjoyable when it got there. Thank God like you know John Landgraf and the FX team and everybody was rooting for us and pushed for us.

I went home I guess like two years ago, a year-and-a-half ago after I did Bonnaroo … and my mom was clearing out my room and she handed my brother a box of just stuff. I’m just talking to my mom, and he pulls out this letter, and it was a letter I forgot I wrote that he that I sent to him from college. I was like, “Yo, I had this dream where we write a show together and we do this and we do that.”

So I guess it’s been in my head for a long time. Like I said on the stage before, I truly do believe in magic and dreams. We’ve kind of forgotten that, so I feel like that’s the kind of dreamy part of my show. It’s like you’ve got to believe in kind of human magic a little bit, if that made any sense at all.

What do you think we all can do to make a little bit more magic in the world make it a little bit better?

I think honestly right now we live in a time where things are very divisive. I think Meryl Streep was speaking on this a lot of where it’s like we all have a lot of responsibility. And I remember going to school because I wasn’t allowed to talk about magic and I wasn’t allowed.

I knew Santa Claus was fake, but I was around a lot of kids who didn’t know that, so you have that responsibility to keep that going and understand why you’re doing it because of joy. So I think human joy is super-important. It doesn’t come from computers. It just comes from belief.

Acting, making music all that stuff is believing in something that maybe someone older doesn’t truly believe that like when you see it in a child and makes you kind of believe it again, because we forget how innocent and beautiful we were. So I think it’s our responsibility to make magic again because I think a lot of the shit that’s happening now is bullshit.