The Cantina Cast welcomes Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) to our humble abode for some pub prattle! Cantina Cast Media Squad member, Tom Burke via RICC, had the pleasure of sitting down with Mr. Williams to bring you this Special Edition of Star Wars commentary.
[TB|CC] Billy, thanks for taking the time to talk with me. I’m Tom with thecantinacast.com. In your iconic role as Lando Calrissian in both Star Wars films, did you feel that Lando was a good role model since there hadn’t been many people of color in SciFi?
[BDW] Well, yeah! Absolutely that’s for sure.
[TB|CC] Your appearance on Star Wars Rebels last season proved very popular is there a chance you’ll be coming back?
[DW] Oh yeah, probably I’m sure of that. Yeah.[TB|CC] Last the year the Academy Awards were criticized for their lack of black nominees, do you think this year is going to be any different?
[BDW] I don’t know, I don’t really care.
[TB|CC] Your portrayal of Harvey Dent in Tim Burton’s “Batman”, I think, is very overlooked. Was there ever a chance that you would’ve returned in Tm Burton’s sequel and had the opportunity to further explore Harvey Dent?
[BDW] Well, it didn’t happen so I guess that that’s put to rest.
[TB|CC] “Nighthawks” was a film you did with Sylvester Stallone and I actually still think it’s a great, tense thriller that stands the test of time with Rutger Hauer’s terrorist running around New York City.
[BDW] It was the first of that kind of movie. It was a forerunner of the terrorist movie.
[TB|CC] I’ve always felt that to a certain degree, “Die Hard” could owe some of it’s plotlines to “Nighthawks”..
[TB|CC] I was curious, after of course what happened on Sept 11th 2001, did you ever kind of look back on that film, did it ring odd at all to you?
[TB|CC] Recently, Donald Glover has been cast as a young Lando in the forthcoming Disney solo Han Solo film. Do you think he’s going to bring the same level of charisma and charm that you brought to the character?
[BDW] I don’t know. I have no idea.
[TB|CC] Okay, he hasn’t reached out to you for some tips?
[TB|CC] That’s too bad. What have you got going on currently? Anything in the pipeline we need to know about?
[BDW] Well, I’ve just been reprising my, the character, my Colt 45 character.
[TB|CC] Oh really, are you?
[BDW] Yeah, for Pabst Blue Ribbon. Yeah.
[TB|CC] Yeah great, is that going to be for print or television?
[BDW] Well, it’s been on the internet.
[TB|CC] Excellent. I apologize, I haven’t seen them. I remember seeing them when I was a much younger kid years ago and you always did a bang up job portraying that character.
[BDW] Yeah, well, most of the characters I do are pretty indelible, they become iconic.
[TB|CC] I know the rigors of attending the cons don’t probably leave you a lot of free time, but do you have any plans outside of the convention when you’re in Rhode Island? Is there anything you’d like to see or try to do?
[BDW] No, not necessarily. I have a couple of friends there in Rhode Island.
[TB|CC] Yes, we have some good restaurants, didn’t know if you’re looking for any recommendations. I could always give you some!
[BDW] Well, I got a friend there who, he’s a real connoisseur of good food.
[BDW] Thank you anyways.
[TB|CC] Are you still doing art? As I recall, you were either doing some painting or collecting, are you still doing that?
[BDW] Yeah, I’m a painter, and yeah I have some pictures, paintings showing in Toronto at the Ryan Liss Gallery and a gallery in Miami that’s been showing some stuff.
[TB|CC] That’s excellent, that’s great to hear. You know, you’ve had a long career, you’re still active, you’re still out there, and you’re visible. I was curious, I don’t want to say television is going through a renaissance, but certain shows like Empire, Luke Cage, they’ve really been getting quite a set of eyeballs and good ratings coming to them, is a desire to do a good solid drama something you’d been interested in?
[BDW] Well, if it’s interesting, uh, yeah, sure. I recently did a television version of ‘Dirty Dancing’, I did a cameo in that. And I’ve done cameos in like CSI, NCIS and Modern Family, where I was playing myself primarily. But, every now and again, you know I will come around and do something.
[TB|CC] I was just curious you know if something came up, like a good recurring role…
Even the whatta ya call it, the dance show..that was a lot of fun.
Yeah, Dancing with the Stars. That was last season, I believe, if I’m correct.[BDW] Right. [TB|CC] Yes, certainly, I’m sure that was certainly something outside the box for you per se..
[TB|CC] I know obviously Disney and the Star Wars legacy, it’s a very tightly held drum, but would you be interested in being in the new movies?
[BDW] Well, I don’t know, yeah, if they asked me.
[TB|CC] I know that myself and some of my friends have pondered whether or not Lando is still swindling, conniving anyone in the Star Wars universe thirty years after his first appearance.
[BDW] Well, he’s in Rebels doing it, and he’s in Legos doing it, and in the comic book, the Marvel comic he’s doing it.
[TB|CC] I picked up the Lando series from Marvel, it was a very good series of books, kinda really highlighting some of the shenanigans he found himself in, did you have any input on the writing or the storyline on that book?
[BDW] Uh, no, not really.
[TB|CC] That’s too bad. I know you’ve done videogames before, and you’ve done a lot of voice work, is there any forthcoming voice stuff for any videogames or such?
[BDW] No. I just do it when they call me up to do it. Especially with Lando. Because, I think, I’m really Lando. Really. That’s how people see me. And that’s how I see myself. I don’t think of anyone else doing Lando to tell you the truth.
[TB|CC] That’s good to hear. I know some actors they get uncomfortable or feel typecast, or stuck in a role, but obviously in talking with you, you’re very comfortable and very happy being Lando.
[BDW] Yeah, I love Lando.
[TB|CC] Well, I love the fact that you’re still enthralled by his portrayal, it really pleases me that you’re still an active member of the community. That you enjoy the lasting impressions that you’ve made in the two Star Wars films. I myself would love to see you show up again, I think it would be great if we saw you in Episode eight or nine, I think it would be great of Disney to include you.
[BDW] Well, I don’t know. A lot of people would like to see me come back.
[TB|CC] Well Billy, it’s been great talking with you this afternoon, I hope you have a great weekend!
[BDW] Right. You have a great afternoon. Thank you very much.
[TB|CC] Thank you Billy.
The Cantina Cast
The wretched hive your Jedi Master warned you about!