Glover's "Teddy Perkins" was calling the shots as the episode was filmed.
Atlanta's most recent episode was one of the most bizarre in the show's run, and the story behind it is just as intriguingly strange. Derrick Haywood, who played Benny Hope in the episode, confirmed to Vulture what many had already assumed: the freaky Teddy Perkins character introduced in the episode was actually Donald Glover in whiteface, but it went quite a bit deeper than fans had guessed.
According to Haywood, Glover did not break character throughout the whole filming process. “Initially, I had no idea that Teddy Perkins was actually played by Donald Glover,” he said. “The director [Hiro Murai] called ‘Teddy’ over [on set] and said, ‘Let’s see what Teddy thinks.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, who is this Teddy guy and why is his opinion so important?’ When I say this guy was in character the whole time, it was just amazing the commitment he brought. We were calling him Teddy, he acted as Teddy – there was no Donald on set whatsoever.”
In the official credits, Perkins is said to be played by "himself."
While Glover has been praised by critics for his unconventional ideas in Atlanta, they seem to have caused tension when it came to the FX Deadpool series that he and his writing partner and brother Stephen Glover were set to create before things fell through. According to Stephen, a "Taylor Swift episode" the two had drawn up may have been the "last straw" when it came to creative differences between the Glovers and Marvel. Stephen maintains it was "HILARIOUS."