Lando Calrissian debuted in The Empire Strikes Back and, while he never got as much screen time as many other Star Wars characters, quickly became a beloved character thanks to his charm, wit and courage. Billy Dee Williams originally portrayed the character, while Donald Glover plays the younger version in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Luckily for Glover, Williams was able to impart some words of wisdom on embracing the gambler.
"It was really, really relaxed. He was great. I mean, I had a lot of questions," Glover revealed to Entertainment Weekly about his meeting with Williams. "And then he just told me, just be charming. [Laughs] And so, I was like, 'Okay!' I just kind of did that. He said, 'Just be interested in things.' Lando has, I wouldn't say eccentric, but eclectic tastes. So I tried to work that into the role as much as possible."
Glover has always admired Lando, as the actor notes he was the "only black guy in the universe," and wanted to know how Williams approached the unique opportunity.
"I just wanted to know, Star Wars was such a big deal and then they make the second one and you're kind of the first and the almost only black guy in the universe at that point," Glover pointed out. "I was like, How did you go into that? What were your thoughts? It's always a big thing when you break a mold. What was the thought process of that? He gave some good advice about this, about being yourself as much as possible, making the character a real person, rather than the whole identity for a whole group of people."
Lando isn't the only character to be portrayed by a new actor, with Alden Ehrenreich playing the titular scoundrel. Much like Williams offered advice to Glover, Harrison Ford offered advice to Ehrenreich.
"What [Ford] did so beautifully for Alden was he talked a lot about what he remembered when he first read Star Wars, and what George had done with Han. Who the character was and the conversations he had for so many years with George about how that character developed," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy revealed of the Han Solo discussion. "He gave Alden that kind of insight which was invaluable. There were several times in the course of making the movie where Alden would actually recount some of the things that Harrison had pointed out. I think that was really, really helpful to him."
Fans can see how Glover and Ehrenreich compare to the original performers when Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on May 25.
[H/T Entertainment Weekly]