Actor Billy Dee Williams, best known for his role of Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars films, shared in an interview with Esquire that he sees himself as “feminine as well as masculine.”
“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,” Williams said.
“And you see I say ‘himself’ and ‘herself,’ because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine. I’m a very soft person. I’m not afraid to show that side of myself,” the 82-year-old actor added.
Later in December, the actor will reprise his role as Lando in the much-anticipated Stars Wars: The Rise of Skywalker for the first time since Return of the Jedi in 1983. While Williams is proud of his role in Star Wars, he pointed out that the role he is the proudest of is his Emmy-nominated performance as Gale Sayers in 1971 TV movie Brian’s Song.
“It was a love story, really,” he told the outlet. “Between two guys. Without sex. It ended up being a kind of breakthrough in terms of racial division.”
It was announced that Star Wars alum would re-join the franchise in July 2018. Previously, Williams joined The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi in the early-1980s. Last year, Donald Glover played a younger version of the smuggler in the spin-off, Solo: A Star Wars Story.
In April, Williams surprised fans of the franchise at the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, where he discussed his role in the upcoming film.
“How did I find Lando again? Lando never left me!” he answered a fan when asked what it was like to return to his iconic character.
Williams also kidded about Lando being seen as a traitor to Han Solo (played by Harrison Ford), and told the crowd, “I have to explain this stuff to people I don’t know why. I get sick and tired of being accused of betraying Han Solo.”
The actor is one of the last original stars to return to the franchise after Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fischer reprised their roles as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, in the first two films of the new trilogy.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will premiere on December 20 in select theatres.