The Advice Billy Dee Williams Gave Donald Glover On Playing Lando Calrissian

Solo: A Star Wars Story Lando Calrissian Donald Glover

Here's a hypothetical situation: say you've been cast as the younger version of a character idolized by millions. Naturally, you'd be nervous about how to approach the role, and what the original actor would think of your performance. Donald Glover had that experience recently during the production of Solo: A Star Wars Story, as he spoke to legendary actor Billy Dee Williams for advise on how to play his equally famous character, Lando Calrissian. As Glover recalled in a recent interview, Williams gave him the following, simple advise:

Just be charming. Which was perfect. It really made it super simplified. With playing a character that's already established, there's a fear of overthinking and comparing yourself. To be able to just go, 'Be charming,' it's really helpful, actually.

"Be charming." Two words that are presumably pretty easy to live by, as well as easy to remember. Certainly, Donald Glover had no problem taking that advice to heart, as everything that been shown of his performance as Lando in Solo: A Star Wars Story has looked absolutely charming. If the rumors about Mr. Calrissian getting a Star Wars spin-off are true, then Lucasfilm may be equally happy with Glover's performance. This should only make the fans more excited as they head into Solo's opening weekend in theaters.

Of course, fans are probably wondering how Billy Dee Williams felt about Glover's Lando in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Well, we're happy to report that during his interview with Variety, Donald Glover revealed that Williams, in fact, approved his work. While Glover didn't press for anything past the "Good job" text he got after Billy Dee Williams had seen the film, it was still pretty heartening to get the all clear from the elder Lando. This praise is likely exciting for Alden Ehrenreich, and all involved with Solo: A Star Wars Story as well. The early reactions for the film were undoubtedly mixed, but still hopefulfrom first critics.

It also hasn't been forgotten that Solo: A Star Wars Story went through a difficult birthing process, with Ron Howard having to step in and rework a good portion of the film that was already underway during the tenure of former directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. As that news tore through the internet, the same sort of dark cloud that followed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story into theaters back in 2016 started to form. Though much like that previous film, it seems as if Solo is earning as many boosters as it is detractors, and the film is still set to make some waves during this Memorial Day weekend. And it's all in part to the utterly charming scoundrel that is Donald Glover.

We'll see just how charming he is when Solo: A Star Wars Story opens in early showings on Thursday night. In the meantime, if you're looking to see what else looks like it's going to charm audiences in 2018, you can find the answers in this year's release schedule.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.