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Billy Dee Williams at NYCC: 'Lando's never left me'

By James Comtois
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – Lando Calrissian, Billy Dee Williams

Hello, what have we here? Billy Dee Williams, aka Lando Calrissian, charmed attendees at the Javits Center at New York Comic Con on Friday when he talked about playing and reprising his role in the Star Wars universe. And as far as he's concerned, there's only one Lando. 

Williams, who originated the role of gambler turned Baron Administrator of Cloud City turned traitor turned war hero in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, will reprise the role in the upcoming Star Wars film The Rise of Skywalker this December. When asked what it was like returning to the role, Williams said: "Lando's never left me," before adding: "He's been a part of me for 40 years."

Williams has also returned to the role in voiceover form in the Star Wars Rebels episodes "Idiot's Array" and "The Siege of Lothal," and even The LEGO Movie in 2015.

"It was relatively simple getting back into it," Williams added, "I mean ... I'm a very kind of charming [guy] ... so playing charming is relatively easy for me," which was met with huge applause from the room. "Just joking," he said.

The 82-year-old actor, who admits he never kept Lando's cape (although George Lucas did give him an Ewok head), said that it was the cape and the name Calrissian that drew him to the role, noting that while most actors create their role "from the inside out," he created Lando "from the outside in" by using these external concepts.

Also, when asked what he thought Donald Glover brought to the role in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Williams said: "Donald Glover's brilliant, but there's only one Lando." This, too, was met with thunderous applause. 

"I love doing Lando," WIlliams said. "It's a fun character."

Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of New York Comic Con 2019, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.