Migos' Quavo Talks His Scene-Stealing Acting Debut in Donald Glover's 'Atlanta'

Quavo of The Migos talks his new lifestyle on camera in 'Atlanta.'

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Complex Original

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Lifestyle on kam-er-uh for real. Tonight Donald Glover's highly buzzworthy Atlanta shifted gears with its strongest episode to date. Every subplot and one-liner was top-notch, but the Scene-Stealer award arguably goes to a hilarious cameo by the Migos. In a subplot meant to highlight that, despite their rap aspirations, Paper Boi and Darius are still heavily ensconced in the streets and drug dealing, it's revealed that when Paper Boi said they were going to re-up with "the migos" he didn't mean a Spanish cartel—he literally meant Quavo, Offset, Takeoff (and their cousin, Tanqueray). Quavious handles the bulk of the speaking parts, and to our pleasant surprise, you would never know this was dude's first time acting. It's a cameo on peak-Entourage levels, with great comedic timing and believable menace. We hopped on the phone with Quavo for a quick chat about how this guest spot came to fruition and if this is the first step towards him going Full Thespian.

The episode you’re in is hilarious, but have you been following the show?
I’m tuning in every Tuesday to watch. I want to [make sure I see every episode] to get the whole full gist just because when ours come up I really want to understand it, you feel what I’m saying?

So how did Donald approach you?
His people reached out to our people, but I always had a good relationship with him on some artist to artist shit. I always respected him and his craft so I instantly wanted to be a part of it. I didn’t even know it was going to be this big, I just thought he was shooting a short film or something like that, and luckily it did good, know what I’m saying? I would give him a yes just off of our relationship period, though.

Your scenes are great. Have you always thought about acting?
Don’t tell me that. [Laughs.] I really ain’t seen [the finished episode yet] so I really can’t tell you what I want to do. I want to see it and then can tell you like, "Goddamn I want to further this shit." But hell yeah if that shit looking crazy, n***a, sign me up for something else, I’m ready.

What are some of your favorite shows or movies?
My favorite movies are Home Alone, Batman—all the Batmans, all the [Teenage Mutant]Ninja Turtles. I’m a '90s baby. I don’t really watch new movies right now because I don’t have time and when I grew up I wasn’t really just in the house watching movies all day. Once I got older I might look at the boss movies like Scarface, but that wasn’t my field. That’s why you hear Mortal Kombat or Home Alone in all our lyrics because we grew up watching that shit.

What was it like when you guys filmed Atlanta? How long was it?
It was two days. We shot out of… I want to say deep down by Henry County over that way on the south side. We were out there all day. That was my first time—I mean like, I’ve been in videos but that TV stuff, you really got to repeat it and you really gotta do what you were doing the last five minutes ago. Like, "Wait, this pencil goes right here because the camera was here." You gotta keep that shit in the same spot or else you’ll fuck up the whole scene.

When you were on set was there an actor you were thinking of, or trying to model your performance after?
Nah, I was just trying to find my Quavo. [Laughs.] I was already in there with the dude who plays Snoop out of Straight Outta Compton—I was kind of catching his vibe, you know what I mean?

Yeah, how was working with Lakeith [Stanfield]? People are already hailing him as the MVP of the show.
It’s just so weird how he can just be different characters, like, he really come on with it! It’s just so good how he can just twist it up, that role [of Darius] is nowhere near Snoop, you know? He killed it.

So you watched the premiere last week. How're you feeling about it? Do you think the show is putting on for the city in an authentic way?
I feel like he represents it well. We aren’t from Atlanta but I respect what he’s doing—Atlanta is so different and diverse right now, there is no traditional way. It used to be the T.I. way, but now there’s no traditional way to do it in Atlanta because everybody is doing so much different shit and different artists are coming out of different areas.

Are we going to see you back on the show maybe?
If they call me back. Hopefully I did a good job and the people say this episode is the best episode and say "Bring Quavo back, bring The Migos back."

What about a Gambino and Migos collaboration—could you see something happening on the music side of things?
Hell yeah, I’m with it. I can’t say no. He put me somewhere and his music is great so we gotta collaborate; we gotta make it big when we do.

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