Donald Glover Recalls Having ‘Stress Dreams’ While Writing For ’30 Rock’ After His Diversity Hire

Donald Glover is opening up about the “stress dreams” he used to have while writing on 30 Rock as a result of only being hired because of NBC’s diversity initiative at the time.

The Swarm creator appears on the cover of GQ as part of the outlet’s Global Creativity Awards issue where he opened up about his start in Hollywood in 2006 when he was hired as a writer on the Tina Fey-created sitcom while he was a 23-year-old resident assistant (RA) at New York University.

“It definitely didn’t feel like I was supposed to be there,” Glover revealed.

“I used to have stress dreams every night where I was doing cartwheels on the top of a New York skyscraper with the other writers watching me.”

The rising star was only hired as a writer for 30 Rock as part of NBC’s diversity initiative to bring in more people of color. Glover said it was known and even mentioned to him by the show’s creator.

“There is no animosity between us or anything like that, but [Tina Fey] said it herself…It was a diversity thing,” he said.

It was a role that helped introduce Glover to the industry and launched his career that would soon include standup comedy, acting, and performing music under the name Childish Gambino. Glover was actually up against Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, who later admitted the resentment he had for the Atlanta star at the time.

“I didn’t know it was between me and him until later. He hit me one day and he was like, ‘I hated you for years!'” Glover said.

He would stay on as a writer for three seasons, and Tracy Morgan credited Glover for being the reason his character Tracy Jordan was so well received.

“When I first read his writing during 30 Rock, I was like, ‘He’s got it,’ ” Morgan said of Glover. “The things he wrote for me made me very funny. He got me nominated …twice!”