Donald Glover graces the cover of the March edition of Esquire, and the actor-writer-producer-rapper opens up about everything from taking on an iconic “Star Wars” role to the return of his critically acclaimed FX series “Atlanta” to retiring the Childish Gambino alter-ego he’s used for his music career.
In the interview, the 34-year-old phenom compares his path to stardom to that of Tupac Shakur.
“I know everybody likens themselves to Tupac a lot,” Glover explained. “I am the new Tupac in a strange way. I grew up similar. I didn’t have a mom in the Black Panthers, but my parents were very pro-black. Also, my mom made me go to performing arts high school. She was like, ‘That’s where you need to be.’ Sometimes you have to play a role for people to understand you, even though you’re far more complex than any of that. Sometimes it’s really hard to simplify that so people can eat it.”
He continued: “Storytelling is just simplifying what’s happening to you. Life is just a story. Stuff that happens to you, you just put into story mode. I just take what’s there and put it into story mode on a smaller level so that you can be like, ‘Oh my God, that’s life! I totally relate to that.'”
Growing up in the South, the native of Stone Mountain, Georgia, admits he’s been confronting racism his entire life. “If people saw how I grew up, they would be triggered,” added Glover. “Confederate flags everywhere. I had friends who were white, whose parents were very sweet to me but were also like, ‘Don’t ever date him.’ I saw that what was being offered on ‘Sesame Street’ didn’t exist.”
You can read the entire interview in the March issue of Esquire.