Billy Dee Williams, best known for his role as Lando Calrissian in “The Empire Strikes Back” and "Return of the Jedi," recently opened up to Esquire about using gender-fluid pronouns.
Williams told the magazine that being cool means “being yourself,” adding, “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.”
Billy later added, “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 star is reprising the role of Lando in the new movie “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” and “Extra’s” Renee Bargh spoke with director J.J. Abrams about Billy’s interview.
Abrams said, “He is the absolute greatest — Billy Dee is the absolute greatest.” He went on to say, “I think, honestly, that comment and whatever he meant by it, it speaks to his openness. He has such an amazing life experience and he is such a wonderful guy to talk to in-between takes because he will just start referencing relationships he’s had with these legends in music and film and dance and theater.”
He added, “No one has a smile like Billy Dee and to have him, to get to work with him at all, has been such a joy. He is just the sweetest.”