The Lazarus Effect: Donald Glover on Life After Death

Donald Glover The Lazarus Effect


[Editor’s Note: The following article had previously stated that Donald Glover was a former writer for Saturday Night Live, which was in error. Donald Glover wrote for the sitcom 30 Rock. We have corrected the mistake. We apologize for the inaccuracy.]


Donald Glover is a famous comedian, a former writer for 30 Rock and a star of the beloved sitcom Community. But let’s get serious for a moment. His new film, The Lazarus Effect, is about life after death, so after a bit of banter about his increasing celebrity, this interview is going to get real… ish. We’re not going to go nuts with it or anything, but we did want to talk seriously about his career trajectory and his first horror thriller.

The Lazarus Effect is in theaters now. 

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CraveOnline: How are you doing?

Donald Glover: I’m good. I’ve got a tiny Coke.

Well, you don’t want to over do it.

That’s right.

You’re one of the beautiful people now.

[Laughs.] But I do feel like that all the time now. Like ugh, I’ve got to keep… it’s weird. Your visage, it’s so weird. I’m feeling weird about my visage lately. Everything’s like that, everything’s like how you look. I don’t know. I never really thought about it, but now it’s become a thing.

So it was sort of an accident that you were pretty before?

Yeah, it was like I was handsome and I was like, “What am I going to do with this?” And it worked out.

It worked out great. Let’s start out with an easy one: What do you think happens when we die?

[Thinks.] I don’t know. I really don’t know. I feel like that’s kind of what makes the movies, movies like this and all that kind of stuff, interesting at least, or scary. Because it’s the only thing that… Everybody thinks they know everything, and death is the one thing that we really, really don’t know. Like everybody says they know, but no one really knows. So for me, I just look at it like, “I don’t know.” [Laughs.] I don’t want to be dark. 

Be as dark as you want. Be gloomy.

Like Tupac says, it’s like a good sleep. A good sleep. Like if I do what I’m supposed to do here, well, I can sleep with a good conscious. I know when I sleep poorly it’s because I feel guilty about something or I’m not living my life right. The same way. I feel like it’s probably going to be like before I was born. Like peaceful. I don’t think it should be taught as something scary, but I definitely think there will be a time when people don’t die like this.

That would be cool.

I think it will happen eventually.

But it’s interesting you say it shouldn’t be scary, and here you are in a scary movie about what happens after you die. Do you think that’s like an anxiety thing for you? Or did you just think it was a good tale?

I just thought the movie was cool. I thought everybody involved was super talented, and also I felt like this movie was, the core of it, like something that intrigued me because I was reading a bunch of post-death… like actually bringing people back from the dead and stuff, which they’ve done. This is interesting to me. It was something that’s in the zeitgeist.