Under the guise of alter ego Childish Gambino, Donald Glover has blossomed from sitcom breakout star (Community) to full-blown musical phenomenon thanks to inescapable, sometimes zeitgeist-dominating tracks like "Redbone" and "This Is America."
His voice role as Simba in Disney's new CGI remake The Lion King presented the 35-year-old actor-musician another monumental opportunity: dueting with the reigning queen of pop, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, on the story's seminal ballad, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight." And in a telltale sign of how far Glover has come over the past decade, the magnitude of such a match-up hardly fazed him.
"I feel like The Lion King is more important than me being nervous," Glover told Yahoo Entertainment (watch above) at the film's Los Angeles press day, where he was joined by director Jon Favreau.
"It's more important that this movie does what it's supposed to do and it's a good movie 'cause I just care about it more. And letting that get in the way of it felt kind of silly, which allowed me to do what I do best. And [that way] the collaboration worked out better."
Because of their hectic schedules — Glover was filming the Lucasfilm prequel Solo: A Star Wars Story and Knowles-Carter was prepping her headlining sets at 2018 Coachella — the pair couldn't record together. "The timing wasn't perfect, but we decided it'd be best to just go back and forth … just kind of playing around figuring out what's the dynamic. It was a great experience, I learned a lot from the process."
Easily two of the most surprising voices to now share features on a song with Childish Gambino and Beyoncé are comedic actors Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner, who open up the track as Pumbaa and Timon, respectively. (The pair also duet on "Hakuna Matata.")
"It seemed inevitable," cracked Eichner (Billy on the Street).
"From a very young age," added Rogen. "From like 'Say My Name' time, probably?"
The pair admitted the temperature in the room changes when the former Destiny's Child megastar walks into the room.
"People get very quiet, I've noticed," said Eichner. "And you wait for Beyoncé to approach [you].
"But she's always very lovely and gracious in the rare moments that we've spent with her. It's cool, and it's awesome. She's Beyoncé."
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