Billy Dee Williams Gave Simple, Perfect Advice to Donald Glover About Playing Lando

Image: Lucasfilm
Image: Lucasfilm

In his now-infamous meeting with Billy Dee Williams, Donald Glover threw out a huge number of ideas and thoughts about the character of Lando Calrissian. According to Glover, after he said all that, Williams looked at him and said, “Yeah, I don’t know about all that. Just be charming.”


The story is part of a large profile of Glover by The Hollywood Reporter, covering his entire career. Regarding the part of Lando in the still-unnamed Han Solo movie, Glover’s story reveals how much thought Glover has given to the character, who—in the movies at least—wasn’t that fleshed out. And that, at least for Williams, looking cool came easy.

Glover also gives a bit of insight into how weird it is for the cast to be changing directors at this point in the process. He has nothing but good things to say about both, but even so:

Ron is such a legend, and he knows exactly what the vision for what he is doing is … [but Phil and Chris] hired us, so you sort of feel like, “I know I’m not your first choice …” And you worry about that [...]

To be honest, I don’t know exactly what happened. I feel like I was the baby in the divorce, or the youngest child. The oldest child is like, “We know what’s happening, but we are keeping you out of it.” And I’m just like, [Glover’s voice rises several octaves] “Was that scene good? How did you feel?”

Well, we know what Williams would say about all that turmoil: just be charming.


Katharine is the Associate Director of Policy and Activism at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the former managing editor of io9. She writes about technology policy and pop culture.



Williams looked at him and said, “Yeah, I don’t know about all that. Just be charming.”

Easy for you to say, Billy.

Just look at him... it works every damn time!