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'Magic Mike XXL' star Donald Glover does double duty in stripper movie sequel

Donald Glover stars in

Donald Glover stars in "Magic Mike XXL." Photo Credit: Claudette Barius

There's nothing that Donald Glover can't do. The Grammy nominated artist jumps so effortlessly from one medium to the next, he almost feels like he's a chameleon.

In "Magic Mike XXL" Glover, part actor, part comedian, part musician merged all of these worlds that he's embedded himself in since writing for "30 Rock." Glover plays Andre, the "adorable" stripper who's part of Jada Pinkett-Smith's stripper collective.

amNewYork spoke with Glover spoke about all of these worlds, and the pure fun of "Magic Mike."

How did it feel being the 'adorable' one out of overtly sexualized strippers?

[Laughs] Jada gave me that title that I'm wearing like a badge of honor. I did come up kind of thinking, "Oh man, I'm definitely the young, adorable one," but I feel better about it now because the team is very supportive. I'm wearing it better. Jada kind of took care of me. She came in and she was so helpful, and good to me. I don't think people are giving her credit. She absolutely made that role.

Even though you have this career as a musician, were you nervous at all?

Yeah! [Laughs]. I was totally nervous. I think I was mostly nervous because the energy is different. You have 400 women, and it's an energy I've never felt, but it's super supportive and that's what the movie is about too. The movie is saying that there's nothing to be afraid of. The scene that Matt and me have in the car is the crux of it. The sexuality of it or even listening to people's wants and dreams, and being supportive of that, is what life is about.

How did that kind of energy compare to your live shows?

I try to make [my shows] all kind of spiritual. There are not a lot of places where people can get together and be free. Like the last scene you had 400 women, and it felt crazy in there. It's packed, and everybody is having a good time. You don't get that kind of energy all the time. I like that feeling. It's a very human feeling. It feels primitive. It's something that everybody understands, and I kind of chase that.

You were able to sing and rap a bit. Was there room for collaboration with this role?

I was kind of off book, except for the rap part, which I wrote, and then once you go in, they said, "Just do whatever feels right." There really wasn't any time where they said, "Oh you're off the script." Everybody ad-libs because they want you to feel like you're there. So we were saying what comes naturally and going into the sections as they go. It was actually very loose and collaborative with everybody.

You've said you think of your life in chapters -- with "Magic Mike" and later on "The Martian," does this signify a new chapter for you?

I look at what I do as chapters and sections. I never try to define them. I kind of let them be as they are. You can always look back and say hindsight is 20/20, and that's when "that" happened, or that's when "that" happened, but when it's happening to you, you kind of have to just let it happen to you. I definitely see these kind of movies and all the projects that are coming up as something. I always try to do the thing that's the most fun [for] the most time, or rather the thing that expresses what I'm going through at that time. I'm in a different place than I was a couple of years ago.

You're working on a new album and you're also writing for your FX show "Atlanta." Do you see yourself balancing both sides?

It gets intense, but I don't know. I'm just passionate about stuff. That's just how I am. I know that I want to push things to the limit. With all of these projects that are coming out, I know I won't be able to do as much as I have been when I'm 55, if I'm around. This moment right now I can handle this stuff, and even though it's a lot I'm passionate about it.


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