(NEW YORK) — Star Wars actor Billy Dee Williams is opening up about gender fluidity.
In a new interview with Esquire, Williams – who plays Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars films – says he sees himself as “feminine as well as masculine.”
“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,” the 82-year-old tells the mag.
“And you see I say ‘himself’ and ‘herself,’ because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine,” he adds. “I’m a very soft person. I’m not afraid to show that side of myself.”
Later this month, Williams reprises his role as Lando in The Rise of Skywalker. It’s his first time stepping back into the role since 1983’s Return of the Jedi.
Williams, who pioneered diversity on screen, knows that the new trilogy’s young stars have endured sexist and racist comments online.
“You’re always going to have people making stupid comments,” he says. “One deals with indignities all the time. Do you sit around with vengeance in your soul? You can’t do that.”
He adds, “I’m not forcing people to listen to my point of view, but if I can present it in some creative fashion — I’m the painter, tweaking, adding, contributing, putting in something that you haven’t thought about, maybe.”
The Rise of Skywalker, distributed by Disney, the parent company of ABC News, hits theaters on December 20.
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