Donald Glover Thanks God For Rejection Because Without It His Career 'Wouldn't Have Happened'
Culture & Entertainment

Donald Glover Thanks God For Rejection Because Without It His Career 'Wouldn't Have Happened'

In the fast-paced world of television production, stress is a common occurrence for both cast and crew members. This can be magnified when you're a young creator and even more so when you're a young creator who is melanated. This is no different for the team behind the hit show, 30 Rock, specificallySwarmand Atlanta mastermind Donald Glover, who was a writer for the show.

He recently opened up about the “stress dreams” he used to have while writing on 30 Rock as a result of only being hired because of NBC’s diversity initiative at the time. According to Glover, these dreams would involve him running around the set, trying to find something he had lost. While this might seem like a typical anxiety dream, Glover claims that these dreams were more intense and vivid than any he had experienced before.

"It definitely didn't feel like I was supposed to be there. I used to have stress dreams every night where I was doing cartwheels on the top of a New York skyscraper with the other writers watching me," he revealed to GQ. "There's no animosity between us or anything, but [Tina Fey] said it herself...it was a diversity thing. The last two people who were fighting for the job were me and Kenya Barris. I didn’t know it was between me and him until later. He hit me one day, and he was like, ‘I hated you for years!’”

Glover went on to serve as a writer for three seasons before he broke out to become the phenom that he is today, ultimately developing his alter ego, rapper, singer, and artist, Childish Gambino.

So, what do these stressful dreams reveal about the behind-the-scenes world of television production? Probably everything. And for one of the most brilliant and original minds in Hollywood to struggle with imposter syndrome, our struggles with the same seem just a little more validated.

Glover also opened up about his new production team, where he's headed in the next few years, and more.

Donald Glover on only putting out the freshest entertainment and art at GILGA, his new multimedia studio (which btw, he recently revealed he is actively hiring for):

“You know how you go to a farmers market, and you ask for peaches, and they don’t have any because they’re out of season? Peaches have a season! I’m not gonna sell you shitty peaches just because you want a peach now.

Donald on one of GILGA's first projects being a short film created by Malia Obama and what it's like being her mentor:

“The first thing we did was talk about the fact that she will only get to do this once. You’re Obama’s daughter. So if you make a bad film, it will follow you around."

Donald on being thankful he was turned down from Saturday Night Live in 2007 and 2009:

“I dodged so many bullets. Me being on SNL would’ve killed me. I got friends who made it on SNL, and, at the time, I was like, damn. But if I got on SNL, my career wouldn’t have happened. And thank God. Thank God I didn’t get some of those pilots. I wanted so desperately to be on Parks and Rec because it was the cool, hipster show. I am the bullet dodger. I feel like Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction. That wasn’t a mistake, you know? God did that.”

On Chris Rock encouraging him to try stand up (again):

“So I was with Chris Rock, and he was like, ‘People aren’t good [at stand-up] until they’re your age. The only one who was better when he was younger was Eddie. Why aren’t you doing this shit?!’"

Glover went on to discuss what he's like as a family man, the meaning of GILGA, and what's next for Donald Glover. Continue reading his GQ cover story in full here.

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Featured image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

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