Billy Dee Williams On Finally Getting to Play Batman Villain Two-Face
It only took 28 years, but Billy Dee Williams — who is best known for playing smooth-talking Lando Calrissian in the original Star Wars trilogy and being the best Colt 45 spokesman of all-time — is finally getting to play the iconic Batman villain: Two-Face.
When Williams signed on to play Gotham City District Attorney Harvey Dent in Tim Burton's Batman (1989), it was only a one-picture deal, but he had hoped that if the film was a hit, which it was, he would eventually get a chance to tackle Dent's physically and mentally deformed alter-ego in a future installment. However, when Two-Face was introduced in Batman Forever (1995) — the third film in the series — director Joel Schumacher chose Oscar-winner Tommy Lee Jones to play the coin-tossing bad guy. Boo!
Righting that wrong, The LEGO Batman Movie brought in Williams to voice Two-Face. How does Williams feel about that? "Well, it's pretty ironic, I guess," the 79-year-old actor told THR. "Considering I originally played Harvey Dent with the hopes of playing Two-Face and here I am doing Two-Face in a Lego movie. (Laughs.) It's very interesting."
And if he was given a chance to play Two-Face in Batman Forever, what would have been his approach? "Well, I never got to really work on it," he said. "I just thought it would have been really interesting. Tommy Lee Jones was really great, and he's one of my favorite actors, but I thought it would have been a kind of a departure and it would have been different. You win some, you lose some. I remember as a kid reading the Batman comics and seeing what the character was through illustration. The whole idea of a nice-looking guy ending up with a horrible disfigured look was pretty intriguing to me. It was like playing out two personalities. In the Lego Movie, it's really hard to really talk about it because it's in pieces, but the character, it's not like doing a feature film in that sense. There's more of an animated feeling to it."
In the irreverent spirit of fun that made The LEGO Movie a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble – LEGO Batman – stars in his own big-screen adventure. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker's hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up.
The LEGO Batman Movie will open in theaters on February 10, 2017.
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