Donald Glover on the simple advice Billy Dee Williams gave him about playing Lando

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Aug 10, 2017

In case you weren’t aware, Donald Glover (Community, Atlanta) is a huge Star Wars fan. The character of Lando Calrissian inspired him as a child, and now that he gets to take on the role in Lucasfilm’s Han Solo film, the pressure is on to get it right. So, what did the  man himself have to say as far as advice?

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Glover revealed he had an under-the-radar meeting with Billy Dee Williams to talk about bringing a younger Lando to life. After Glover pretty much geeked all over him, Williams cut through the noise and got down to the essence of Lando. It only took three words: “Just be charming.”

Here’s the choice excerpt from Glover’s comments:

“I was like, ‘I’ve always felt like this character could do this, and he represents this, and I kind of feel like he comes from here, and it’s very obvious he has a lot of taste, so maybe he grew up seeing that from afar? Because I’m like that. Maybe he saw it from other planets and was like, ‘I want to be that.’ He just let me ramble on and on, and then finally I was like, ‘So, what do you think?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, I don’t know about all that. Just be charming.’”

You’ve gotta love Billy Dee Williams. In the decades since the original Star Wars trilogy, Lando has become a key character in franchise lore. But all those years ago, when Williams was bringing him to life? He was just trying to bring a suave, charming hero to the screen. As the Han Solo film aims to recapture some of that classic Star Wars swagger, they couldn’t have picked a better actor for the part. Glover oozes cool, and if anyone can be pull it off, it’s him.

The Han Solo film is being directed by Ron Howard (after a bit of a behind-the-scenes shake-up), and stars Alden Ehrenreich (Han Solo), Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, and Woody Harrelson. It's set for a May 2018 release.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)