Billy Dee Williams, the 82 year old actor who first portrayed Lando Calrissian in 1980’s Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, recently acknowledged his gender fluidity in an interview with Esquire. “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, who will be reprising his role as Lando in The Rise of Skywalker, the last movie of the Skywalker saga, spoke with Matt Miller of Esquire. The actor mentioned that despite Lando’s charm and the many doors that it opened not just for him, but for other actors of color, the more memorable pehttp://cbr.com/tag/star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalkerrformance of his career was his role as Gale Sayers in Brian’s Song, a 1971 Emmy-nominated telefilm about two football players who were roommates and best friends. “It was a love story, really,” Williams said, clarifying the subtext. “Between two guys. Without sex. It ended up being a kind of breakthrough in terms of racial division.”
Now, I might argue that a love story between two guys could be a bromance, or a story of brotherly love. It doesn’t necessarily have to be homosexual in nature. Ultimately, who knows what Billy Dee really meant, as he’s always been a very eclectic fellow.
But it will be interesting to see if this “revelation” has any effect on Episode IX box office, in the same way that Glover’s declaration of Lando’s pansexuality may have had on Solo’s opening weekend. But either way, you can be assured that the legacy media will be playing this up as much as possible before the release in December.