He also hints that there may be more Childish Gambino shows in the future.
Donald Glover is the best kind of method actor. The star of The Lion King flexed his intense chops to Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday night (July 9) when he took a seat on the couch dressed in a child's lion costume, complete with furry head as his castmates were preparing to celebrate the premiere of the film just across the street.
"This is what we wore every day," Glover deadpanned when Kimmel joked about the Atlanta star's dedication to his craft. "I believe the Jim Henson creature shop made this… took about five years." And while his focus on the role of Simba was clearly on display, Glover said he specifically asked not to be face-to-face when he was recording his duet with fellow King star Beyoncé, because that was just too much.
"I requested not to be [in the same room]," he said. "I did not want to be looking into Beyoncé's eyes while doing this." The truth, though, is that he was filming Solo in London at the time, so he recorded his parts at Abbey Road Studios. "I would imagine it's less intimidating if you are not in the same room with Beyoncé," Kimmel offered. "I imagine it's less intimidating playing basketball with Michael Jordan if you are at home just throwing pieces of paper in the trash," Glover responded.
If he's being honest, Glover never imagined he'd be in a Lion King remake to begin with, but it did allow him the opportunity to meet the co-write of the music for the original animated film, Elton John, which was awesome. "I met Elton, I think it was in Italy, and he was really nice and really sweet to us," Glover said. "I was like, 'hey, I'm gonna be Simba.' And I think he was like, 'oh, this guy's crazy.' He didn't know, really, what I was talking about."
As the film is opening, Glover is gearing up for a sold-out tour of Australia to make up for dates he had to cancel last year when he got injured on what he later said would be his final Childish Gambino outing. "I broke my foot," he said by way of explanation. When Kimmel asked if that was the most embarrassing thing that had ever happened to the rapper/actor on stage, he paused a beat, looked down at his lion costume and gently shook his head. "You know what? No."
As for whether this is really the end of the Childish live experience, Glover was unsure. "I think I'm still gonna do shows. I'm not quite sure," he said. "I love music. I really love making music." Glover also talked about being denied candy as a child — and subsequently balling out on Gushers when he got his first 30 Rock writing paychecks — and how his son was psyched that Beyoncé is in The Lion King, but kind of forgot that his dad was also.
"She's presidential," he said of his co-star, who he recalled meeting several years ago at a Jay-Z show. In fact, at the time, Glover and his partner were living in New York and she suggested that they should go to Bey and Jay's favorite New York pizza restaurant. "So we go there and Beyoncé and Jay-Z are there, having a way cooler date night," he lamented.