Interview Magazine was founded by Andy Warhol and usually publishes — you guessed it — interviews. But what happens when a famous artist would rather not sit for someone else’s questions? On April 7th, Donald Glover provided an answer of sorts when the magazine published him interviewing himself.
“Yeah, so first question, why’d you want to do this?” he writes, before responding, “I guess I don’t love interviews and I asked myself, ‘Why don’t you like interviews?’ And I think part of it is that the questions are usually the same. This way I can get questions I usually don’t get asked.”
He offers project updates, bizarre opinions, reflections on his own work, and more. The results are occasionally illuminating and often very strange. Glover does indeed ask himself questions that few others would ask, but in his willingness to toss out bizarre pronouncements without further explanation, he unintentionally proves that a good interviewer can be absolutely essential. Here are five takeaways:
He Considers Because the Internet to Be an All-Time Classic on Par with Radiohead’s OK Computer
This was probably the strongest endorsement that Because the Internet had ever received. His second studio album as Childish Gambino dropped in 2013 to generally positive, if somewhat lukewarm, reviews, racking up a 64 out of 100 on Metacritc.
Its reputation has grown since then. In 2013, many critics viewed Glover as a sitcom star turned hip-hop dilettante, but the undeniable success of his musical follow-up, “Awaken, My Love!” as well as Atlanta turning into a cultural juggernaut, have caused a broad cultural reappraisal of his early projects. But few besides Glover would compare it to one of the greatest albums of any genre ever made.
That won’t stop him from making the argument. “It’s the rap OK Computer,” he said. “It’s prescient in tone and subject matter and it’s extremely influential. And I know no one’s gonna give me that until I’m dead. But it’s true.”
Glover also offered his opinion on the state of criticism, writing, “You can’t believe the good or bad stuff now because it’s all just the economy around you. There’s money and clout in loving and hating you. You have to sift through and try and see if someone is debating in good faith. The internet doesn’t provide a large-enough amount of that.”
Pen15‘s Maya Erskine Has Replaced Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Prime Video’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith Series
Last year, Amazon’s Prime Video announced a television adaptation of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the 2005 film that starred Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a married couple who are both keeping their real job — assassin — secret from the other. Glover is set for the role of the husband, while Fleabag creator Waller-Bridge was tapped to play the wife. But in September, she unexpectedly exited the project.
In his self-interview, Glover said the split came about due to “classic creative differences,” and added Pen15 co-creator Maya Erskine would be replacing her. Glover wrote, “She’s dope. It’s exciting. I really love the show. I’m writing the finale now.”
He also asked himself the kind of question a ‘bad’ interviewer might ask, before gently mocking that question. “Are you and Phoebe still friends?” he wrote. He then responded, “What does it mean to be a friend? I still like her. I assume she still likes me.”