Actor Billy Dee Williams is best known for his role as Lando Calrissian in the 1980’s Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Williams, now 82-years-old, shared recently in an interview with Esquire that he’s breaking the gender binary.
It has long been theorized by Star Wars fans that the character of Lando might be pansexual. This theory was actually confirmed by Solo co-writer Jonathan Kasdan in 2018 and again later by Donald Glover, who played the younger Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Glover commented: “Are you a man or a woman? Like, who cares? Have a good time out here.”
When Glover’s comments were pointed out to Williams in the interview, the actor added: “Really? That kid is brilliant – just look at those videos,” referring to Childish Gambino‘s “This Is America” music video.
During William’s interview with Esquire, the actor opened up about his gender fluidity and using both he/him and she/her pronouns. “I say ‘himself’ and ‘herself,’ because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine,” he said. “I’m a very soft person. I’m not afraid to show that side of myself.”
Williams also added: “I never tried to be anything except myself… I think of myself as a relatively colorful character who doesn’t take himself or herself too seriously.”
The actor also reflected how playing Lando opened doors for him and other actors of color including, big names like The Rock and Jamie Foxx, have shared they are indebted to him for their careers.
In a genre that still remains “notoriously white,” including a “complex Black character” like Lando is something to be noted; according to Esquire.
During the interview, the actor was also asked if this is “the end for Lando,” Williams replied: “It’s a conclusion — certainly it depends on how much money is generated. That’s when they determine where’s the conclusion,” he said. “The one thing about show business, you can resurrect anything.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be in theaters on December 20, 2019. Williams will be reprising his role as Lando in the upcoming The Rise of Skywalker, the final movie of the Skywalker saga. We look forward to seeing Williams on the big screen again as Lando in the conclusion of the Skywalker Saga.