UPDATE: In an interview with The Undefeated, Billy Dee Williams said he was misunderstood in his previous comments about gender fluidity.
“What the hell is gender fluid?” he asked the site. “I was talking about men getting in touch with the female side of themselves. I wasn’t talking about sex, I wasn’t talking about being gay or straight.”
Williams, 82, described his legacy as a “colorful character who doesn’t take himself or herself too seriously.”
“I never tried to be anything except myself,” Williams told Esquire in an interview that published Tuesday.
“And you see I say ‘himself’ and ‘herself,’ because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine,” he added. “I’m a very soft person. I’m not afraid to show that side of myself.”
Williams reprised his iconic role as the smuggler turned Cloud City administrator in the upcoming installment of the space fantasy series, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” which is slated to hit theaters on Dec. 20.
In his interview with Williams, Esquire’s Matt Miller pointed out how Donald Glover, the actor who played a young Calrissian in last year’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” described the character as pansexual. Pansexuality typically refers to an attraction to people that is not limited by a particular gender identity or sexual orientation.
“Yeah, he’s coming on to everybody,” Glover said of Calrissian during an interview last year with SiriusXM after “Solo” writers confirmed the character’s pansexuality.
He continued: “I feel like if you’re in space it’s kind of like, the door is open! It’s like, no, 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 good time out here.”
Williams was reportedly thrilled to hear about Glover’s remarks.
“Really? That kid is brilliant,” he told Esquire.
J.J. Abrams, who directed “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” praised Williams’ performance in an email to the magazine.
“Lando was always written as a complex, contradictory, nuanced character,” he wrote. “And Billy Dee played him to suave perfection.”