Tien jaar geleden, in 2005, had ik de eer om Billy Dee Williams – die we allemaal uiteraard kennen als Lando Calrissian – te interviewen toen hij in Nederland was (dit interview kun je hier lezen). Enkele dagen geleden kreeg ik (met dank aan zijn vertegenwoordigers) wederom de kans om enkele vragen aan hem te stellen! Met trots presenteert StarWarsAwakens.nl nu dit exclusieve interview met de Baron Administrator van Cloud City himself: Billy Dee Williams!
Mr. Williams, unfortunately you didn’t return as Lando in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Can you tell what the reason for this is? And will you be back for Episode VIII?
I do not know the reason. I think the character of Lando just didn’t fit into the story line. I saw the movie and loved it and can see why Lando wasn’t in it. If they asked me to come back for Episode VIII I would love to do it but right now I have not been asked and I do not know their plans.
You did return as Lando in Star Wars: Rebels, the animated TV series. What was it like to return to the Star Wars franchise after so many years?
I would love to return to Rebels! I had a blast doing it! It was great bringing Lando back to the franchise. Lando is very dear to my heart and I cannot see anyone else playing him or voicing him.
What is the best memory you have regarding working on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi?
On The Empire Strikes Back it would have to be working with director Irvin Kershner. He was brilliant and I really loved working with him! As for Return of the Jedi it was great being reunited with the cast again and becoming a General!
When you were cast as Lando in the late ‘70’s Star Wars was already extremely popular. Did that put extra pressure on your shoulders; starring in such a big movie?
Not really. I was well aware of what Star Wars was and how much of an impact it had on the film industry but I am a professional actor. I approach every job professionally and with as much dedication and hard work as any other project. Star Wars is a part of our world now and I am happy to have been a part of it!
I know it’s been a long time ago, but what can you remember from filming The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi?
When we shot Return of the Jedi I remember doing the scene where Harrison was saving me from the Sarlacc Pitt. He was so wrapped up in his acting that he didn’t realize right away that I was actually hurt. A squib went off in my foot and we had to cut the scene. Harrison was so into his part. We of course did get the scene done.
Of all the movies you have done in your entire life; what is your personal favorite?
Like being asked “which child is your favorite”. I cannot answer this question.
Who has been your greatest influence in your acting career? And what is the greatest lesson you have learned in your career?
Paul Muni was a great inspiration to me. I think he was an amazing actor and I think I learned a lot by watching him. And I was lucky enough to be in a film with him, The Last Angry Man. I am truly blessed!
Thank you for your time, and hopefully we’ll see you in May 2017…..in Episode VIII!
Met enorm veel dank aan Derek en Danny van Coolwaters!
Meer interviews vind je (behalve op StarWarsAwakens.nl) op StarWarsInterviews!