As the fourth and final season of Atlanta – Donald Glover’s brilliant series – is about to retire, we spoke with the actors and writers about his legacy and his farewell.
With Atlanta, a very personal series with an almost unidentifiable tone, Donald Glover has moved the lines in the history of the TV series. She embraces different genres starting from simple drama at the beginning to give in surrealist comedy, then black comedy and finally turn squarely to satire. It is also an eminently political series that speaks in subtext of the lives of African-Americans, those who belong to the middle class and who struggle to get by and whose lives are perpetually endangered by a policy and a society that make them downgraded.
On the occasion of the release of season 4, AlloCiné spoke with Donald Glover, creator and main interpreter of the series in the role of Earn, screenwriters Stephen Glover and Stefani Robinson, and actress Zazie Beetz who plays Van .
AlloCiné: This is Atlanta’s last season. What do you want audiences to take away from this series?
Donald Glover : This last season is explosive and so much fun. It’s a sultry mix of drama and action. Life is too short not to take full advantage of it, that’s what we can learn from our series. In this season, we took the opportunity to have fun and do whatever we wanted. In life, you always have to do what pleases you and what makes you happy.
Stefani Robinson : I think the series shows that we can make the right choices in life to have a good time and while being aware of the world around us. This season is even more ambitious than the previous ones in the sense that we continue to take risks. This is what allowed us to survive.
I remember our first meeting with Donald, for the writing of season 1. He encouraged us, from the beginning, to go after ourselves. He was convinced that the series was going to be canceled after this first season and so he totally freed himself, artistically and creatively, thinking that there would be no tomorrow… and that it is better to live in the moment. .
Stephen Glover : What’s going to stay from our show, I think, is all the new and crazy stuff we’ve been experimenting with. I hope this will inspire other artists to do the same. I agree with Stefani when she talks about artistic liberation because we thought we had no tomorrow. The state of mind was really: “We’re going to fuck the shit up!” That’s what worked for us.
Donald Glover : It’s also a season really rooted in reality. We get to the heart of each character, much more in depth to better understand their choices and decisions.
Looks like we’re going to understand Van better this season?
Zazie Beetz : Yes, and that’s probably because the writers also know me better on a personal level. This allows them to go deeper into the writing, to understand the soul of Van. She’s kind of a ghost mirror of who I am in real life. In this season, Van really expresses everything in her heart and she is as explosive as possible. But she’s someone who stays on a personal quest forever, she searches for herself without really finding herself completely.
Some African-American fans have criticized the series saying that it is anti-black and especially anti-black women, how do you respond to these attacks?
Stephen Glover : It’s ridiculous because the series is above all for black people. I don’t like this kind of remark that accuses us of being anti-black. Moreover, I can tell you that when I walk in the streets of Atlanta or Los Angeles, I only come across black people who love our show. Likewise on TikTok with our legions of fans who support our series. Me, I always listen to what comes from the “street” and not from a negative minority.
Donald Glover : As a black person, I do not quite understand these minority voices which accuse us of misogynoir (a form of misogyny towards black women in which race and gender play a concomitant role, editor’s note), it is insane. There is even a fan who accuses us of transphobia while one of my neighbors who is a trans man loves the show. But hey, I guess everyone is trying to exist and show off on the internet.
It’s easy to attack us but it’s not fair, especially after all the challenges we faced to make this series exist and continue to exist. In any case, I respect everyone’s opinion, I listen to everything that is said about our series and I try to learn from it. This series is really for the blacks that we are. And I’m proud that white audiences love it too. This proves that we are all human beyond our differences, with the same sorrows and joys, the same anxieties and hopes.
Atlanta Season 4 airs on OCS from December 2