How Donald Glover's Brother Went From Chemical Engineering to 'Atlanta's' Lead Writer
Stephen Glover may not be as well-known as his older brother (yet!), but he's the sole credited scribe on nearly half of the FX series' Emmy-nominated first season — and he'll co-create the network's upcoming 'Deadpool' series.
As you enter Stephen Glover's apartment, your eyes can't help but settle on a cluttered corner to the right of the door. Mixed in with several pairs of shoes, some booze, a few pieces of musical equipment, a stack of papers, a framed poster from Atlanta's first season and a slice or two of day-old pizza sits a pair of Golden Globe statues and a collection of Writers Guild awards. Somewhere else in the Hollywood apartment, which he shares with his buddy Swank, also a writer on Atlanta, is the AFI award the show earned in January. And come mid-September, an Emmy or two could join the collection.
"It's all just so crazy," says Stephen, 29, who had never written an episode of TV before Donald enlisted him to join the staff. "I'm sure people thought, 'You're bringing on your friends and your brother? This is a train wreck ready to happen.' "
Though the fiercely tight Glover brothers had spent their childhoods concocting ideas for TV shows and movies in their Stone Mountain, Georgia, home, Stephen hadn't planned to follow in his older brother's footsteps. In fact, Stephen had set his sights on a future in chemical engineering, which he studied for a few years at Georgia Tech before finding himself unfulfilled and overwhelmed. After some odd jobs in Atlanta, including a stint as a credit card pitchman at the airport — a day job Donald's character Earn tries out in the FX pilot — his mother encouraged Stephen to move west in 2012 to be closer to his brother.
Half a decade later, Stephen is now an integral part of Atlanta's staff. He is the only credited writer on four of 10 episodes — he and Donald are up against each other for a writing Emmy — and can be heard rapping as Paper Boi on the character's eponymous track. (Like Donald, Stephen raps, too, performing as Steve G. Lover.) And in May, with just one season of Atlanta under his belt, he and his brother were tapped to co-create a second FX series: Deadpool.
"Our lawyer didn't even know what to do [when making the Deadpool deal] for Stephen. He was like, 'No one does that. No one goes from staff writer to creator in a year. What do we do?' " recalls Donald. "And I said, 'Give him the [same credit as me]. We are splitting everything.' And that's the thing, it's not like I am just [lifting him up]. He should be there already."
This story first appeared in the Aug. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.