- Billy Dee Williams is reprising his role as Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
- Williams explained that he identifies himself gender fluid "himself" and "herself" labels in a recent interview with Esquire.
- He also opened up about what his Star Wars character meant for portrayals of Black people in Hollywood.
You probably know Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian from the Star Wars franchise. The 82-year-old actor recently sat down for an interview with Esquire to talk about his return to the iconic role in the upcoming movie Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
During the interview, Williams explained that he uses male and female pronouns when he thinks about his own identity: "And you see I say 'himself' and 'herself,' because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine. Im a very soft person. Im not afraid to show that side of myself."
Fans expressed their admiration for Williams online, with one Twitter user writing, "Billy Dee Williams talking about his preferred pronouns and feelings about his gender identity at age 82 just makes my heart melt."
Billy Dee Williams talking about his preferred pronouns and feelings about his gender identity at age 82 just makes my heart melt. I love this man so much. So happy to be seeing him onscreen again. https://t.co/3jNc56Dnrk pic.twitter.com/AyHnCOpU6k della gon deliver it to ya (@della_morte_)
Love to see it. Especially for all those who act like we just sprouted 5 years ago. https://t.co/Rb9UnmRiVO George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson)
Billy Dee Williams coming out as gender fluid at 82 years old is arguably the coolest thing he's ever done, and he's fucking famous for being cool. Matt Mustin (@MattMustin)
Williams also reflected on the fact that his Star Wars character was a complex, well-written person of color, which was rare for the time. " The Rock calls me the OG," Williams said. "What I presented on that screen people didnt expect to see. And I deliberately presented something that nobody had experienced before: a romantic brown-skinned boy."
Additionally, Williams talked to Esquire about how he prepped for his return for The Rise of Skywalker. Gunnar Peterson, Williams' trainer, previously told Men's Health about his workout regime for the actor, and he praised Williams' work ethic. "One thing about Billy is he's totally willing and open and gives himself to the process," Peterson said. "There wasnt an 'I cant do that.' He didnt second guess himself. He never threw in the towel. He never missed, he never cancelled, hes never late. Hes very old school."
And just in case you thought Williams couldn't get any cooler, he frequently works out in sunglasses.