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Billy Dee Williams Talks Gender Fluidity, Feeling Masculine & Feminine

Billy Dee Williams Talks Gender Fluidity, Feeling Masculine & Feminine

Billy Dee Williams Talks Gender Fluidity, Feeling Masculine & Feminine

The 'Star Wars' actor is embracing multiple pronouns.

rachelkiley

Billy Dee Williams, the original Lando Calrissian, Star Wars badass and betrayer, just casually came out as gender fluid.

In an interview with Esquire that came out earlier this week, the 82-year-old actor noted that he’s one to use male and female pronouns interchangeably for himself — or rather, for “himself or herself.”

“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.”

It was an unexpected and super chill reveal, not something anyone can remember Williams having talked about publicly before. And whether or not he'll expand on his thoughts about gender fluidity in the future remains to be seen, but as he prepares to return to Star Wars after all these years, his presence as an open-minded person in the 'verse is well appreciated.

After that quick foray into gender, the conversation turned to Calrissian, a meaningful and groundbreaking role at the time, when Hollywood had an even worse track record with casting black actors than it still does today. In 2018, Calrissian was low-key confirmed to be pansexual by the writer of Solo: A Star Wars Story, something expanded upon by Donald Glover, who played the younger version of him in the film.

"There’s so many things to have sex with. I mean, serious. I didn’t think that was that weird," Glover said at the time. "Yeah, he’s coming on to everybody...Like, who cares? Have good time out here."

But Williams was just as eager to talk about a role that meant at least as much to him as Star Wars did. In 1971, he starred in a made-for-TV movie called Brian's Song about two real life football teammates who become best friends and roommates despite the racial differences that were still dividing them in that era.

“It was a love story, really. Between two guys. Without sex. It ended up being a kind of breakthrough in terms of racial division,” he said.

Williams is returning to the big screen to reprise his role as Han Solo’s fair weather friend in The Rise of Skywalker, coming out December 20 of this year.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.