The Hollywood Reporter published an interview with the very cool Billy Dee Williams on Friday and it was a geek culture junkie’s dream. Not only did he talk a bit about finally playing Two-Face in a Batman film — even if it is The Lego Batman Movie — but he also discussed his lunch with Donald Glover and the future of Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars films.
The odd part about the interview is how much it seems like Williams is protective of Lando Calrissian. He’s full of praise for Donald Glover and the current slate of Star Wars films in production, but it seems like there’s part of him that is a little sad to see someone else play the role. You can’t blame him given the mileage Calrissian has gotten since The Empire Strikes Back, but he’s at least going forward and looking to help. His lunch with Donald Glover is full of praise for Childish Gambino and his efforts to do the younger version of their Star Wars character the right way:
You recently had lunch with Donald Glover. What’d you talk about?
He’s a very delightful young man, I must say. We had a very nice lunch and we talked for a very long time and it was very easy. He had questions about [Lando]. I guess he was doing what normal actors do, they just want to find out what direction they want to take so they gather their information. So, we just sat and talked, and I didn’t want to impose on anything he wanted to do — he’s got his own ideas, I would imagine. I know he has his own ideas. He’s a very talented young man. In fact, I was listening to some of his music [Childish Gambino, Glover’s musical alter-ego] and it’s pretty good stuff.
What type of ideas was he proposing?
Not to any great extent, I think he basically just wanted to see me, meet me, get to know me a little bit and probably figure out a way to use me in developing his character.
Now despite Glover taking on the role in the upcoming Han Solo film, don’t think that Williams is ready to say goodbye to the character. There’s only hints that he’ll appear in any of the future Star Wars films, but he makes it clear that he’s not ready to give up on Star Wars yet:
To me, I guess what it is that I identify so much with Lando. I mean, Lando has been very much a part of my life for over 30 years. When I go out and do conventions and stuff like that, even though people know me from all the other things that I’ve done, certainly [Lando] takes precedence. I just never thought of anybody else being Lando. I just see myself as Lando…
It’s still very much a part of my life. I created that character.
They also ask him if he spoke with Harrison Ford about the new Han Solo film, but he’s quick to say that Ford is a little too busy to talk Star Wars. I just picture that scene in Bruno if anybody even whispers a Star Wars question at Harrison Ford these days. I think it’s a lot easier to talk Lando with Billy Dee Williams and there’s always the chance that his life truly is one big Colt 45 commercial. Smooth as hell.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)