Donald Glover Explores 'Complicated' Relationships in New Series 'Atlanta'

The actor wrote and directed the series, premiering Sept. 9.

"[My character] Earn's not quite like me," he told a private audience at the Paley Center for Media in New York earlier this week. "It has to do with music so people feel like that, but I wouldn’t say it's autobiographical."

The last time fans saw Glover on television, he was portraying an entirely different character. "Community's" Troy Barnes was a high school jock turned goofy nerd, with no facial hair and a teeny weeny afro (TWA).

Now that Glover, 32, has returned to the small screen as Earnest "Earn" Marks, his smooth skin has been replaced with an unkempt beard. His TWA has now grown into little dreds and even his diction, which was once high-pitched and animated in "Community," is now husky and a bit more real in "Atlanta."

Glover said that the southern city was the perfect place to explore modern-day relationships.

"It’s 60 percent black, [there's] one man for every four women, [it's] like the second largest gay population, like there’s so many things in it that I was like, 'Oh this is like actually a really fertile place to talk about this America,'" he said.

It's an America where his character Earn is living with the mother of his child, portrayed by starlet Zazie Beetz. Although you see them wake up next to each other in the first episode, sharing kisses before either brushes their teeth, they're actually dating other people.

Glover explained that in creating the comedy "Atlanta," premiering on FX Sept. 6, his priority was portraying real life.

"As the season goes start to see why we like each other a lot more," Glover explained. "In the first two episodes, it’s kind of hard. You don’t understand it early. But they’re connected in a weird way. It’s a complicated relationship."

Beetz agreed.

"They just really like each other. And in a way I feel like I’m one of the very few people that actually understands Earn and he actually understands me," she said.

Explaining their onscreen chemistry, Beetz said, "We met and then life just sort of happened and we actually weren’t able to figure out what our kinks and what our personalities were."

"They didn’t really have a chance to date," Glover added. "Sometimes they'd go their separate ways but if you have a child involved it becomes a little more complicated."