Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, Stefani Robinson talk ‘Atlanta’ season 3, approach to portraying music industry

Noah Levine, Life & Arts Film Columnist

“Atlanta” returns to FX Networks with season 3 on March 24 after a nearly two-year hiatus. To commemorate the triumphant return of the comedy series, the first two episodes of the brand new season premiered at South by Southwest, closing out the weeklong film festival. Cast members Donald Glover (“30 Rock,” “Community”) and Zazie Beetz (“Deadpool 2”) attended the premiere event, along with producers Stephen Glover, Stefani Robinson and director Hiro Murai. 

The Daily Texan attended a special red-carpet event prior to the screening where various press asked questions in a conference format. 


The Daily Texan: Almost all of you have experience in the music industry or on film projects involving music, how does that experience affect your approach to “Atlanta?” 

Stephen Glover: A lot of people say to our show, “Why don’t you show the good parts of music?” I’m like, “That’s why,” because we actually understand the actual music industry and business and how horrible it is. So, we like to tap into the stuff people never get to see. Normally, you see all the good stuff.

Donald Glover: We’re like the more “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (approach to the industry). Like, “I don’t wanna do this. I gotta be friends with you but your music sucks.” That stuff is like the funnier stuff. Also, I learned on “30 Rock,” no one cares about the show. No one gives a f— if the show is any good; it’s really about the characters.

DT: If you could describe “Atlanta” season 3 in one word, what would it be? 

Stefani Robinson: Tarrare. (Laughs).

DG: Tarrare, look that up!

DT: Okay, I will look it up later!

EDITOR’S NOTE: According to Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Tarrare was a 18th-century French soldier who appeared as a “walking manifestation of one of the seven deadly sins.” With an “‘endless hunger’ and insatiable appetite,” Tarrare was known to eat live animals, dead people and possibly even children. 


Red Carpet Press: How did these upcoming two final seasons feel to shoot? Was it bittersweet?

DG: I like endings. I think they’re important because then you know what you get. And also, things get stale. I love “The Simpsons,” but it feels like a zombie now. 

SG: There goes the headline! Donald Glover says “The Simpsons” is like a zombie!

DG: Matt Groening!

SR: You get to be intentional! It’s so hard to be intentional sometimes when you’re making something. The sort of curse and blessing of a successful TV show is that for a successful anything, you have to start taking risks sometimes or you’re just generating content for the sake of generating.


Red Carpet Press: Were there any weird ideas that were left on the cutting room? 

DG: No. (Laughs)

Hiro Murai: It’s all on there!

DG: We have a restraint problem! There was an ending to season 4 that we just changed, but that was only because we grew up. It wasn’t because somebody told us we couldn’t do it. I think the pandemic just made us get older in a good way. I feel like the show is kind of punk in a way that’s like, “Who cares? We don’t care.” You just can’t be that forever because then it’s like, “What’s the point?” But we never felt restraint other than ourselves, which I hope becomes a way of thinking in the series.