All Articles Tagged "Donald Glover"
Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number In Hollywood: Older Actors Who’ve Portrayed Significantly Younger Characters
Since the beginning of film-making, directors have cast actors and actresses into roles based significantly on talent, often letting factors like age fall by the wayside. Age ain’t nothing but a number in Hollywood, and that’s evident when a 41-year-old Barber Streisand was cast to play a 17-year-old in Yentl, or a 34-year-old Stockard Channing was cast to play an 18-year-old girl in Grease. Let’s see what other actresses and actors are old enough to father or give birth to some of the characters they’ve played–or at least be a young aunt or uncle to them.
Donald Glover, who currently stars as 24-year-old college student Troy Barnes on Community, is just marginally older than his character by 5 years, making Glover 29 years old.
Tags:Actors taking younger roles, age, Amber Riley, Bianca Lawson, bring it on, clueless, Community, Donald Glover, Gabourey Sidibe, Gabrielle Union, Glee, halle berry, high school musical, Hollywood, Monique coleman, Precious, pretty little liars, remember the titans, save the last dance, Stacey Dash, their eyes were watching god, Wood Harris
Girls is a perfect example of how complicated television viewing can be for black folks.
I will admit to liking the show. In fact, I have watched it faithfully since giving in to my curiosity, somewhere through the first season. It’s a good show, one I almost missed by feeding in exclusively to all the criticism. This is not to suggest that the critics aren’t right: calling itself the voice of a new generation is basically challenge-accepted from the blogosphere to find out ways in which it is not. And anyone with a Netflix account and a modest knowledge of Sex and the City, Golden Girls, Designing Women, Girlfriends and a whole host of shows largely centered on the intimate lives of four women, will already cite that this “voice” has long been inter-generational. But at least it is set in Brooklyn – Oh wait, so was Living Single…
Although Girls’ overworked concept is as fresh as day-old orange juice and bagels, the show is not without its charming originality. First and foremost, Hannah, the title character played by the show’s own writer/producer Lena Dunham, is short, frumpy, has a double chin and has more gut than butt. These television anomalies not only challenge how we define Hollywood beauty, but also make Hannah in some ways, a pioneering figure. In addition to being the atypical protagonist of a show centered around the dating and sex lives of women, Dunham takes it to another magnitude by filming her uncharacteristic television body in the buff, appearing, at the very least, topless in just about every episode I’ve seen. When asked in an interview why she filmed so often without any clothing on, Dunham poignantly said that she wanted the world to, “Look at us until you see us.”
But despite Dunham’s aim to expand the range of women on television, one troupe which she, and the other members of the creative team behind Girls perpetuate, is this whitewashed and insular world where race doesn’t exist – even in Brooklyn. This is not in the sense of the common criticism about the lack of characters of color, which has been levied upon the show. While I understand how frustrating it is to have countless television shows centered around the lives of white folks’ ratchetness be labeled as revolutionary, and more specifically voices of a new generation, a story doesn’t necessarily have to have a central character of color to have some value. And while not the epitome-voice of the new generation, like it has been marketed, I think the clever writing and story lines does, in my opinion, warrant it being listed as one of many interesting and atypical contemporary voices.
Despite not being the sole onus of either the contemporary voice or television’s diversity problem, I still find it quite interesting how cued in the show’s creators are in wanting to challenging one-ism while being totally tone-deaf to the desire to see equal representation on the screen. For me, those two concepts go hand and hand. However I am a black woman. And Dunham is not.
In the second season opener, we see Hannah straddling Sandy, her new black Republican lover, topless and having at it. Sandy, who is played by Donald Glover. This is what you wanted, this is what you get? While clearly a middle-finger to her critics, it is not all that daring a nod to the race discussion she might have been hoping for. At this point in television history, what’s so shocking about a white girl having sex with a black dude? Miranda did it for an entire season on Sex and the City. One could mistakenly interpret this scene as an attempt, albeit lame, to be both dismissive and antagonistic to the critics. However, in the second episode, we are treated to more interactions with Sandy, some of which occurs outside of the bedroom. During one such occasion, Sandy and Hannah are discussing an essay of hers she had asked him to read. Sandy didn’t like it; Hannah is upset, but instead of coming at him for his dislike of her essay, she goes in on him about how irresponsible it is for him to be a black Republican, especially considering that “two out of three people on death row are black men.” The end of the scene involves the two breaking up and Hannah walking away from Sandy. This is the last time we see Sandy, and I suspect, the “race” issue.
Through this exchange, we see Dunham take a much more poetic response to critics, presenting to us the difficulties and awkwardness, which some folks, particularly white folks, might feel when race is interjected into the conversation. On one hand we have Sandy, whom outside of knowing his name and that he is black and republican, we really don’t know much about. However, that might be the point. Perhaps Hannah is so clueless and self-absorbed that she honestly doesn’t know that using statistics about the incarceration rate of black men as a weapon in an argument is just a tad bit racist. In a sense, Hannah could be one of those white girls who just doesn’t “get it.” And despite how irksome the real life Hannahs are, there is something very honest about seeing her (their) portrayals on television.
Or as Judy Berman, editor of FlavorPill, who penned this piece for the Atlantic, writes:
“What Dunham’s latest well-intentioned disappointment makes clear is that it will never be enough for white writers to simply try harder in their depictions of non-white characters. Some may produce keenly observed, authentic-feeling portrayals, but even those who have spent their whole lives surrounded by people of diverse backgrounds will never know first-hand what it’s like to be a person of color in America. They will never respond to Django Unchained in quite the same way as Haitian-American writer Roxane Gay. Those who don’t get it will, for the most part, continue to not get it. The truth, distasteful as it may be to those who imagine that we live in a “post-racial” era or believe it’s small-minded to apply identity politics to art, is that we still haven’t reached a point in our history at which the discrepancies between the way people of different races (or genders or religions or sexual orientations) experience life are negligible.”
But while Hannah may not “get it,” I’m not sure that I can say the same for Dunham. Sometimes some folks are keenly aware of what they do and say and are just really sophistic in caring about the effect that it has on people. Some folks, in fact, are very comfortable in their privilege, which doesn’t require them to answer or even be responsive specifically to race, gender or where they might intersect. For instance, in an interview with Alec Baldwin on his podcast, Dunham criticized Rihanna for her relationship with Chris Brown and smoking weed, and then said that she is not a good role model for young women. According to US Weekly, Dunham also says that she “had to become more conscious about what I say and what I promote, not in a way that stifles me, but just in a way where I realize now that there are 17-year-old girls who come up to me and tell me that the show means a lot to them.”
In the matter of a season and half of Girls, I have seen a character accidentally smoke crack; intentionally sleep with a gay dude; almost have a threesome; do coke for the sheer experience of writing about it; and affectionately be peed on in the shower by a boyfriend. It’s hard to play the role model card when your entire representation of a new generation hinges on women, who are one bad decision away from being crack w***es. Likewise, I find it highly unlikely that Dunham cannot recognize, or even find some commonality with, Rihanna’s own growing pains, and that experienced by characters of her hit television series, which is said to be based upon her life and the lives of friends in her social circle. On television, fictional Hannah deserves our empathy or at least understanding. In real life, Rihanna does not. That’s why it is almost laughable when Dunham speaks of looking, “…at us until you see us.” Like, what version of “us” does she truly believe the television viewing audience has yet to accept and acknowledge?
You might have noticed by now that we here at Madame Noire are fans of the HBO series “Girls.” We frequently discuss plot, character development, relatability and predictions with fervor. We agree that even though the show lacks– or lacked– any characters of color, that it is a great show. (Our own friendship circles lack diversity as well.) Our assistant editor even asked for the first season for Christmas. We friggin love it. What makes it so genius is that after college, in our early to mid twenties (essentially the life I’m living now), there is so much uncertainty. So many mistakes made, friendships tested and minor or major freak outs along the way. We can see all of that in Hannah’s story. We see ourselves, even though she’s not black like we.
In last week’s episode, Hannah had an interaction with her new boo thang Sandy, played by the much beloved Donald Glover. In that particular one, Lena Dunham held up a mirror and I saw my reflection oh so clearly. If you’re a fan of the show and you haven’t seen this episode, you’ll want to stop reading now. Because it’s about to be spoiler city.
In the episode, Hannah decides to ask Sandy to read one of her pieces. A few days go by and he hasn’t said anything about it. When Hannah tells her friend this, she says quite frankly, If he hasn’t read it, he doesn’t care enough about you to read it.
But it’s the realness only a really good friend can deliver, so Hannah goes to Sandy and asks him why he hasn’t read her piece. He sighs before telling her that he did read it…he just didn’t like it. He kept reiterating that he thought it was very well written but it just wasn’t his thing. Even though Hannah and Sandy seemed to have little else in common. (Sandy’s a Republican. Who actually prefers to acknowledge his blackness instead of “play colorblind” like Hannah.) The fact that he didn’t like her writing was the straw that broke the camel’s back. She walked out on him and the D she was expecting to get that night.
I watched the episode, almost cringing. The situation was just too [painfully] familiar. So when my sister’s boyfriend, who was watching the episode with us, wondered why Hannah was so upset, I might have overreacted and been crunker than necessary in explaining
my Hannah’s feelings.
Me: Naw, if he doesn’t like her work then they’re not going to work out.
Him: So, if a man doesn’t like something you’ve written then you can’t continue to date him?
Me: It’s not that he didn’t like it. If a man has constructive criticism for my work, I might not like it, but I’ll appreciate it. He didn’t have any suggestions to make it better. He said it was well written. It was that he didn’t like what she was writing about. If she’s going to write about something then that means she’s passionate about it. And if he doesn’t like what she’s passionate about, then it’s not going to work.
Whew Jesus. I had to remember this wasn’t my life or my work that I was defending. It just felt like it. It wasn’t that long ago when I was sitting in a similar situation. It wasn’t that my “Sandy” didn’t like what I wrote or even the way I wrote it. It was that it would take him forever to read it. I’d send it, a day or two would go by, and I’d ask if he’d read it. “No…not yet.” A week… the same response. Every time I sent something, and I’d get that response, my faith in the relationship would decline. In his defense, he would eventually read it, it just took too long, sometimes a month. I’d often wonder if I was overreacting, if I was being impatient. I’m still not entirely sure; but today, I’m leaning more towards no. I mean dang. Writing is what I’ve decided to do with my life. It’s a skill I’ve honed since childhood. It’s the form in which I express myself the most clearly and authentically. It’s my mind, my ideas… me on paper…or a computer screen. If you cared about me, why wouldn’t you read it as soon as you got a little free time? It particularly bothered me because I know, though I wasn’t perfect, that I at least supported and encouraged his dreams and aspirations, anytime he wanted to talk about them. I was always there to lend an ear when he needed it. I didn’t say, “Can we talk about this later?” or zone out while he was speaking about his goals. Why couldn’t I get an eye for an ear? A little reciprocity?
Hell if I’ll ever know. But I do understand why Hannah had to be out.
Have you ever had a man who you felt didn’t support your dreams or talent? Were you able to work through it or did it eventually cause you to leave?
Black actors have come a long way in the last few decades. These stars may be one of the only black actors on their shows but not only do they hold it down, they steal almost every scene they are in. If you haven’t tuned in to any of these shows, click through for a reason to.
Last year, RZA gave us a reason to watch Californication, a show starring David Duchovny as a boozing writer who slores around town. In it, RZA plays a rapper named Samurai Apocalypse (of course). Since RZA is basically playing himself — a ride or die preacher/prophet with a sharp tongue — he is a lot of fun to watch.
There’s a pleasant surprise in store for fans of HBO’s hit series “Girls.” After complaints that the series didn’t feature any people of color, creator and star Lena Dunham is addressing the issue, just like she said she would. She’s tapped “Community” cast member and rapper (known as Childish Gambino), Donald Glover to play as Hannah’s (Lena Dunham) new love interest, Sandy.
Aww I guess it’s official Adam is completely out of there, just as he started acting like he had some sense. Smh.
Aah well. It’ll be interesting to see what Donald Glover brings to the table, especially since, as Hollywood Reporter noted in their review of the new season that Sandy, a Republican, will serve Hannah a bit of a wake up call when it comes to her thoughts on race.
“When Sandy calls out Hannah’s knowledge of race and its ramifications, she goes on a self-righteous, defensive rant, and Sandy says, “You just said a Missy Elliott lyric.”
While I’ll definitely be glad to see Donald Glover on this show, because I do think he’ll be an asset, I’m not entirely sure if the series really needed people of color. But now that he’s here, let’s hope that the show is able to authentically deal with this new character, the way its dealt with other issues that came in the first season.
What do you think about this new character of color? Are you glad that Lena Dunham added Glover or did you think the show was fine the way it was?
Ladies, we all appreciate a fine looking man. So much so that we might start to confuse their mannish good looks for actual talent. But you know a man is a good actor when he plays a role so convincingly that you start to fall for his character more than the physicality he was blessed with genetically. Granted, some of the men below are fine already, but we all know that a fine man can play a horrible character that’ll have you too disgusted. Check out this list of characters to see what we mean…
Detective Ellis Carver in The Wire
So Seth Gilliam is a naturally beautiful man. Like for real, I’ve had extensive conversations with my friend about how often and how ferociously this man could get it. He’s fine! But looks aside, it was his character that had me crushing on him. (I saw a picture of him, the real Seth, out of character and he just didn’t have the same effect on me.) I like that he grew and matured on The Wire. He went from a shady street cop who was stealing money from drug busts to a detective who would turn in men from his own department, if it meant doing the right thing. You’ve got to love a man who matures!
It’s a question the blogsphere tried to answers months ago. Many felt it was plausible, suggesting actress Gina Torres play the Amazon in a film adaptation. But these talks aren’t new. There have been talks to have Wonder Woman on the silver screen and even a tv show was supposed to air back in 2011. Adrianne Palicki, a white woman, was picked to play the title character but the show got cancelled before the first episode even aired.
It reminds me of the same debate that was going around on the interwebs a couple of years ago when Donald Glover was campaigning to be the next Spiderman in the newest film installment. We all know how that went. Andrew Garfield will be starring as the next Peter Parker in this year’s reboot of the Marvel movie comic book adaptation.
However some would say Glover’s campaigning worked,seeing that Marvel introduced Miles Morales: a half black and half Hispanic young man who becomes the next Spiderman in the Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man. The creators said that Morales was inspired by Glover.
So if Spiderman can be black and there is even a black Batman, is there room for a black wonder woman?
Anyone familiar with the series knows there was actually a black Wonder Woman named Nubia in the comics. She was the twin sister of Wonder Woman.
It is sad enough there hasn’t been a major motion picture with a leading female superhero; but to add insult to injury, they are making a sequel to 2007’s flop “Ghost Rider.” (Good comic, terrible movie) Actually let me rephrase that, there hasn’t been a successful major motion picture with a leading female comic book superhero. Sorry Halle, we wanted to like “Catwoman” but that movie was a train wreck. (She looked fierce however.) And don’t even get me started on Elektra.
With the current cancellations of two major black comic book series, I wonder if the world is truly ready for a major motion picture with a black leading superhero and a successful female lead at that.
Do you think we should even worry about making white superheroes black? Or should we just support all the black characters out there, the ones we know and even the ones we don’t but should?
Bianca is college student who also blogs. Follow her on twitter @thefoxypoet.
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(Almost) everyone loves the Idris Elbas, Denzel Washingtons and Will Smiths of the world, but there are plenty of guys that we love that don’t have that “traditional” appeal. Check out some of our more offbeat crushes and add some of your own!
Denzel, Idris, and Boris are undeniably smooth and Hot, but today we are celebrating stars that represent another kind of fine. Guys who buck the traditional and have a quirky style that makes them intriguing and irresistible. Is there anything hotter than a man who’s not afraid to be himself? Here’s a list of some celebrity men who are unconventional cuties.