There is a convincing reason for crowning Donald Glover as the most prolific actor of his generation. His family home in the community of Stone Mountain, where the performer spent most of his childhood, housed his brother and sister, his two adopted siblings, his father and mother. Glover used to transform the chaos in the house as a source of inspiration for his stand-ups at that time. He started performing in musicals and drama during his high school days. Later, he went on to join New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
‘30 Rock’ and Success
Glover cemented his determination to make it big in the entertainment industry by the time of his graduation in 2006. The actor created a troupe called Derrick Comedy to produce comedy clips. He just wanted to try his luck when the mailed some handpicked writing samples to talent manager David Miner. The samples found their way to Tina Fey soon she invited Glover to write some episodes of the sitcom ‘30 Rock.’ The beginner’s luck worked well for Glover as the show went on to become a huge hit. It also won several accolades including six Golden Globe and eleven Screen Actors Guild Awards. The sitcom also introduced Glover as a cameo in some popular episodes.
The world knows Glover by the moniker Childish Gambino, which became a label for his albums and tracks. The strange name derived accidentally by the Wu-Tang Clan’s Name Generator! He released the mix-tape ‘Sick Boi’ under the musical stage name in 2008. After the success of his alternate identity, Glover released three more albums ‘Camp’ (2011), ‘Because of the Internet’ (2013) and ‘Awaken My Love!’ (2016), under the label Childish Gambino. The rising singer got his first breakthrough as an actor in the 2009 NBC sitcom ‘Community,’ in which he played the character of a high school footballer who grapples with his wild nature.
After four successful seasons, Glover left the show while the fans became curious about his exit. In 2009, he made his feature film debut with the comedy ‘Mystery Team,’ directed by Dan Eckman. Glover played the lead role in the movie which centered on the misadventures of a bunch of dewy-eyed detectives who entangled with a murder mystery. His other major film credits include ‘The Lazarus Effect,’ ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ ‘The Martian,’ ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming,’ and ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story.’ The actor also played memorable supporting roles on television shows like ‘Sesame Street,’ ‘Adventure Time’ and ‘The Ultimate Spider-Man.’
FX and ‘Atlanta’
In 2016, Glover debuted the hit comedy-drama series ‘Atlanta’ on FX. Created and starred by the actor, the series went on to become a huge hit with a slew of awards and nominations. The actor walked straight into the annals of history as the first African-American to win an Emmy for comedy directing.
‘This is America’ and ‘Guava Island’
Glover emerged as an all-rounder creative genius by the mid-2010s. In 2018 he released his biggest hit ‘This is America,’ a hip-hop track that lashed out at racial prejudices and violence. The track went on to become a viral phenomenon while garnering rave reviews which hailed it as one of the most acidic social critiques of the 21st century. ‘This is America’ became the first hip-hip track to earn the Song of the Year and Record of the Year awards at the Grammy 2019. In the same year, Glover introduced the musical film ‘Guava Island’ directed by Hiro Murai. The actor played the lead role of Deni opposite Rihanna who played his love interest Kofi. Described as a ‘tropical thriller,’ ‘Guava Island’ earned generally positive reviews.
‘This is America’ and ‘Guava Island’ catapulted Glover into new heights from his already established versions like rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, comedian, and writer, a powerful icon of popular culture. The hip-hop sensation is a marked deviation from his popular, witty and sardonic style toward more cryptic style with references to history and evolution of African-American identity in modern times.
As Kitty Empire wrote in a The Guardian article, Glover has evolved into an icon who sings like an angel and raps like a demon. It can be the beginning of a new civil rights movement or long due catharsis of the African-American representation. Interestingly, in an event to promote his FX show ‘Atlanta,’ Glover told HuffPost that his next album would the last under the moniker Childish Gambino. He added that the screen name isn’t ‘necessary’ anymore. “There’s nothing worst than like a third sequel, like a third movie and we’re like, ‘again?’” he said. “You know, I like it when something’s good and when it comes back there’s a reason to come back, there’s a reason to do that.”
In case you are wondering what is the next Donald Grover movie, here’s the list of all his upcoming movies coming out in 2019.
The Lion King (2019)
One of the key attractions of Disney’s live-action remake of ‘The Lion King’ is its lead pair of Simba and Nala, voiced by Donald Glover and Beyonce. The casting triggered quite a frenzy across the media while fans became restless to listen the multifaceted Glover and Beyonce exchange the warmth of passionate wildcat love story. The general consensus after the movie came out was that voice cast has done an excellent job. Fans hailed Glover’s Simba and Beyonce’s Nala for being strikingly realistic and fierce, true to their inner selves.
The remake uses photo-realistic animation to recreate the kingdom of the Pride Lands, the reigning royal family, their enemies, and the diverse animal population as subjects. The plot traces back to the timeless story of Simba, son of Mufasa, and his arch-rival and Mufasa’s brother Scar. The prosperous kingdom slips into chaos and injustice after Scar’s coup d’etat that kills Mufasa and throws out Simba out of the Pride Lands.
As everyone knows, Simba grows up to return for the final showdown between brutality and righteousness. The story has a deep-rooted standing in popular culture as a modern allegory. It’s not just a duel between two powerful heirs for the mantle of the king, but an eternal and mythical clash of justice and injustice and virtuous and evil, or in a simpler terms, “the good and the bad.”
Apart from Glover and Beyonce, the movie also stars James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, Billy Eichner as Timon, Shahadi Wright Joseph as Young Nala, JD McCrary as Young Simba, Florence Kasumba as Shenzi, John Oliver as Zazu, and Eric Andre as Azizi. Directed by ‘The Jungle Book’ helmer Jon Favreau from a screenplay adapted by Jeff Nathanson, ‘The Lion King‘ comes to theaters on July 19, 2019.
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