Billy Dee Williams Comes Out as Gender Fluid
Billy Dee Williams Comes Out as Gender Fluid
(Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

Update: Billy Dee Williams Clears Up Comments About Gender Identity — "What the Hell is Gender Fluid?"

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

UPDATE: Billy Dee Williams has clarified his comments about being gender fluid in an interview with The Undefeated.

“Well, first of all, I asked last night. I said, ‘What the hell is gender fluid?’ That’s a whole new term," Williams said. "What I was talking about was about men getting in touch with their softer side of themselves. There’s a phrase that was coined by Carl G. Jung, who was a psychiatrist, who was a contemporary of Sigmund Freud, and they had a splitting of the ways because they had different ideas about the … what do you call it? Consciousness. Unconscious. It’s collective unconsciousness. But he coined a phrase that’s, ‘Anima animus.’ And anima means that is the female counterpart of the male self, and the animus is the male counterpart of the female."

“So, that’s what I was referring to," Williams said. "I was talking about men getting in touch with the female side of themselves.

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The Star Wars icon discusses life, gender identity, and Lando's return.

Weeks out from a return to the screen in the final chapter of this Star Wars saga, Billy Dee Williams has shared some of the keys to maintaining Lando Calrissian's intergalactic cool.

"Be yourself, " says Williams in a candid new interview with Esquire, describing his gender fluidity for the first time. Williams adds, "I say 'himself' and 'herself,' because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine. I’m a very soft person. I’m not afraid to show that side of myself."

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Though the chat is seeped in Star Wars lore (empathizing with Lando's betrayal of Hans and Leia: "He was up against Darth Vader. I don’t blame him for what he did,") Williams tips a hat to Donald Glover's portrayal of Lando in 2018's Solo: A Star Wars Story and lights up when told how Glover described the character as pansexual ("Really? That kid is brilliant —just look at those videos.")

Catch the return of Lando in Rise of Skywalker when it hits theaters nationwide on December 21st. Watch the latest trailer below and read the full interview with Williams via Esquire today.