Star Wars actor Billy Dee Williams comes out as gender fluid

‘I never tried to be anything except myself’

Sarah Young
Sunday 01 December 2019 14:09 GMT
Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker special look

Actor Billy Dee Williams, best known for playing Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, has come out as gender fluid.

Ahead of his return to the franchise for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the star has revealed that he uses both he/him and she/her pronouns.

“I never tried to be anything except myself,” Williams told Esquire.

The 82-year-old actor said: “I think of myself as a relatively colourful character who doesn’t take himself or herself too seriously.”

Williams later elaborated on his pronouns, explaining: “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 character of Calrissian has long been theorised by Star Wars fans to be pansexual – a theory that was confirmed first by Solo co-writer Jonathan Kasdan in 2018 and again later by Donald Glover, who played the younger Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

“How can you not be pansexual in space?” Glover told SiriusXM. “There are so many things to have sex with.

”I didn’t think that was that weird. Yeah, he’s coming on to everybody. I feel like if you’re in space it’s kind of like, the door is open! It’s like, [not] only guys or girls – no, it’s anything.

“This thing is literally a blob. Are you a man or a woman? Like, who cares? Have a good time out here.”

When Glover’s comments were pointed out to Williams in the interview, the actor added: “Really? That kid is brilliant - just look at those videos,” referring to Childish Gambino‘s “This Is America” music video.

In the interview, Williams also revealed that his proudest acting achievement is his Emmy-nominated performance as Gale Sayers in the 1971 TV movie Brian’s Song.

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

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