In a confusing moment at the 2018 Emmy Awards, eagle-eyed fans thought they spotted Donald Glover in the crowd as his bizarre Atlanta side character. (He also plays the show’s lead character Earn.)
Glover, who created and writes the Emmy-nominated show, was absent from the carpet, leading fans to think he might’ve skipped the ceremony even though he was nominated four times. But in a quick flash, his Atlanta supporting character Teddy Perkins was caught in the crowd, throwing fans into a tizzy trying to decipher if it was really Glover in the seat.
The actor, 34, played the mysterious character in an episode of the show’s second season, which sees Lakeith Stanfield show up to a creepy mansion where Perkins resides. Viewers likened him to Michael Jackson, as Perkins said he used to be a child star and appeared to have bleached his dark skin, though he blames his lighter complexion on a health issue.
Glover at first didn’t admit to playing Perkins on the show, though later talked about the experience of spending all day in the makeup.
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But the whole situation at the Emmys was even murkier when, minutes later, Glover himself was spotted sitting in the audience. (And multiple PEOPLE reporters spotted Glover and the Perkins impersonator in different seats around the same time.)
It seems like Glover might’ve tapped a friend to appear as Perkins, since his stylist Ilaria Urbanati told PEOPLE before the show all about Glover’s Gucci look — which he left his house in. Urbanati explained that his look for the night was inspired by an old black-and-white photo she saw.
“I just think he’s so down to play and I kind of get these stories fixed into my head and he goes along with that,” Urbanati said. He gets that it’s a creative, fun process and it’s not meant to be serious and we just play.”
Glover was nominated for lead actor in a comedy series and writing for a comedy series for Atlanta, guest actor in a comedy series for Saturday Night Live and directing for a comedy series for FUBU.
The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Michael Che and Colin Jost, are airing live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on NBC.