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'Star Wars' Actor Is Gender Fluid

Billy Dee Williams uses masculine and feminine pronouns
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2019 11:30 AM CST
Billy Dee Williams speaks at a "Star Wars" event in Chicago in April.   (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Billy Dee Williams, whose many film roles include Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, has revealed that he's gender fluid. The actor no longer uses only male pronouns, Out reports. "I say 'himself' and 'herself,' because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine," he said. "I'm a very soft person. I'm not afraid to show that side of myself." Williams, 82, made the comments in an interview with Esquire.

Williams' character returns in The Rise of Skywalker. The latest Star Wars installment, due in theaters Dec. 19, is said to be the last, per Vanity Fair. Williams said the role helped him and others break barriers; the Rock and Jamie Foxx have said Williams' career made theirs possible. The actor said Lando Calrissian is "a complex black character" in a mostly white genre. Off the screen, Williams said: "I never tried to be anything except myself. I think of myself as a relatively colorful character who doesn’t take himself or herself too seriously." (Sam Smith made his announcement in March.)

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