Donald Glover Wants Guys To Know That It's Cool To Use Emojis

Photo: Picture Perfect/REX USA.
Donald Glover is inarguably a man of many talents. He was hilarious as Troy on Community. He was one of Hannah's most memorable paramours on Girls. He's an accomplished rapper named Childish Gambino. Now, he's entering a whole new world: the horror genre. Glover stars in the terrifying resurrection film The Lazarus Effect, which hits theaters tomorrow. 

Here's the thing, though. When you call Donald Glover to talk about a horror film, you somehow end up talking about life in general. Speaking with Glover is like a garden path sentence. From the very first "hello," you realize you're not going to travel down the road on which you think you started. It's pretty awesome, so I figured I'd reproduce our conversation almost in its entirety. I cut out a few bits where we both started to ramble, but please do enjoy the mostly unadulterated wit and wisdom of Mr. Donald Glover. 

Hi!
"Hello."

How's it going?
"I'm okay; how are you?"

I'm fine, but it sounds like you've had a stressful day.
"I know that hello sounded really stressful, but I'm having a semi-serious conversation via text. I just sent a text where I was like, 'Okay, I think I sent what I meant,' and I put my phone down. Did I make this moment awkward and weird enough?"

Not at all, but why was the text so serious?
"Well, the text wasn't serious, but we had a very long talk last night about a weird thing that happened, and it was all via text. I consider myself a good writer, but it's different. You're reading how people are saying things, and you're trying to decipher like, 'Are you being weird on purpose to make me uncomfortable so I say the truth?' So, I'm trying to be as truthful as possible, and they're like 'I don’t understand.' You're like, 'I know you understand. You just want me to slip up and say something that's almost wrong.' It was weird like that. Now it's great. I was kind of coming up with something witty while I was talking to you."

Interesting. What's the secret to crafting a good text?
"I'm not a good multitasker. Last night, I was talking to someone on the phone, and I was also texting. I just said, 'I'm having a conversation on text; can I call you back?' People think I'm doing multiple things, when actually I'm just putting 110% into one thing and switching over. Just do the one thing that's most important in the moment."

So, why a horror movie?
"The cast was excellent...David Gelb directed Jiro Dreams of Sushi, so I was like, aw, man, he knows how to tell a story about make it beautiful. I like horror films and romance films. Films where you're going in being like, 'I'm coming here to be scared or to fall in love.' You have a goal."

Do you think this movie is trying to send a message about the ethical and theological ramifications of resurrection?
"I think it's like Alien, where there are definitive metaphors in there you can extrapolate on. For me, there's a fate versus religion thing going on, where it's like, 'Do you create your own hell, or do we create our own hell as humans?'"
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Do you think we should have the technology in the movie that allows us to bring back the recently deceased?
"We kind of already do. We researched, and they've definitely brought people back. I was reading about one New York cab driver where they kept his body cold and brought him back a couple of hours later...I think the question the movie asks is, 'Are we really ready for that?' Not in a cheesy, 'Are we ready to play God?' way, but seriously. Humans aren't the greatest. Look around. They're really fucked."

You don't think we're doing well?
"No, we're doing kind of awful. Ask anybody. Do you feel like we're doing awesome?"

I mean, I feel like the Internet begs to differ.
"I know. The Internet's like, 'Everything's great!'"

There are so many cats to look at.
"Yeah, and there's an Adam Sandler movie coming out."

He has a deal with Netflix. Things are fine!
"Turn on the BBC for like, one second."

Good point. Anyway, what was it like on set when Olivia Wilde had those creepy contacts in?
"I learned a lot from her. She had the contacts in, and she's so good and professional, even though she can't see anything. She's always asking,'Does this make sense? Will this be scary in the moment when we're filming?,' which I really, really like in an actress...It makes you fight for things. I personally am very passive sometimes and will follow people's lead. But, then you start to fight a little bit, which makes a very good dynamic."

Did you feel your fight-or-flight reflexes kicking in, or were you able to tell yourself that this wasn't really happening?
"I'm a little afraid of dogs. The dog [that played Rocky] was actually really sweet and nice...He's super sweet and obedient, but I had to be like, face to face with him. That scene where he's in my face was really weird, because this dog could just bite my face off. Also, you're looking into an animal's eyes, and most animals don't like that. That was the only part where I was like, this is terrifying. Every time he jumped, I'd jump a little. I didn't have to pretend."

Can you tell us anything about your role in Magic Mike XXL?
"It's gonna be amazing; I'm so stoked. I can tell you that I got waxed, so you can extrapolate what you want from that...It's gonna be a really good Fourth of July weekend."

What else are you working on right now?
"I've been writing a lot. I did a movie called The Martian with Kristen Wiig. I'm working on a show for FX called Atlanta. Those are the big things. I'm deciding what the next big thing is because I think a lot of things that I'm doing are coming to a close. I'm trying to make sure that in my career there are period endings."

You could write a book about text message etiquette.
"It is true; no one really has that. Especially for guys. I feel like guys don't think it's cool to use emojis. I'm like, that's so whack. Emojis help so much. They really do give context to something. You can be like, 'What are you doing?,' and 'WYD' is so different from 'WYD, sly face.' Like, 'Uh oh, this person's outside your door,' which is something my friends do."

You could translate that for everyone.
"I think so. Can I use that?"

Go for it.


"The Lazarus Effect" hits theaters February 27. You will jump in your seat...many times.
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