Donald Glover has recounted his first time meeting Billy Dee Williams – the actor who originally brought the suave and stylish galactic smuggler, Lando Calrissian, to life, prior to Glover taking on the role in the upcoming Han Solo anthology movie. Lucasfilm’s second venture outside the episodic Star Wars films will focus on the life and adventures of everyone’s favorite scruffy looking nerf-herder, as he journeys throughout the galaxy before Luke and Obi-Wan Kenobi first tapped his services in Mos Eisley. Originally played by Harrison Ford, the coveted role landed on budding actor, Alden Ehrenreich’s lap, with the prequel’s narrative presumably going to feature snippets of his training to be the prolific smuggler that he eventually became, meeting Chewbacca and supposedly winning the iconic Millennium Falcon from his pal and usual co-conspirator, Lando, over a game of sabacc.
Despite having only appeared in two Star Wars films – Episode V – The Empire Strikes back and Episode VI – Return of the Jedi – Lando has become one of the most memorable characters in the lore with his caped ensemble and charming ways. As such, fans were pretty much engrossed with the casting of his younger self in the Young Han Solo movie, before the role was nabbed by the increasingly-accomplished Glover.
Despite having built a brilliant career in Hollywood at the young age of 33, the Community alum has admitted that he was pretty nerve-wracked when the time came for him to meet Williams for their Lucasfilm-arranged first meeting. A self-confessed fan of the character he is set to play and the man who first brought him to life, Glover has revealed in a new feature from THR that he arrived at the spot fashionably late, wearing a pair of sunglasses and even a fake nose to throw off any kind of public attention he might attract.
Following their pleasantries, Glover dove on and just straightforwardly asked Williams’ input on how he could effectively play Lando in a way that is both organic to the character and the veteran actor’s portrayal of the smuggler. But while Atlanta star and creator excitedly went into various specifics on how to improve his performance, the-80-year-old actor, forever the cool guy that he is, only had one piece for advice for him:
“I was like, ‘I’ve always felt like this character could do this, and he represents this, and I kind of feel like he comes from here, and it’s very obvious he has a lot of taste, so maybe he grew up seeing that from afar? Because I’m like that. Maybe he saw it from other planets and was like, ‘I want to be that.’ He just let me ramble on and on, and then finally I was like, ‘So, what do you think?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, I don’t know about all that. Just be charming.'”
Over the last couple months, the still-untitled Han Solo film has been marred with production issues – to be exact, the firing of original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were then replaced by veteran filmmaker Ron Howard with a mere three weeks left in principal photography. Since then fortunately, it seems that everything has gone back to normal, with Howard keeping Star Wars fans engaged through his Han Solo social media photos (including one with Glover).
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