You may know Billy Dee Williams from his portrail of the sly gambler, Lando Calrissian in the original Star Wars trilogy. What you may not know is that he is an accomplished artist and Disney fan. I recently had a chance to chat with Willams for a press event promotion the upcoming 2011 D23 Expo where spoke about Star Wars and art.
Now that Star Tours – The Adventures Continue Billy Dee has heard nothing but great things about the attraction and hopes to check it out soon. He believes his character of Lando would have made a great host for Star Tours guests.”As long as Darth Vader isn’t following behind … as long as it’s not hostile, it’s quite welcome. I think Lando probably would welcome the whole situation,” Williams said jokingly. Hopefully Imagineers will eventually bring the Cloud City of Bespin into the attraction as originally thought. I believe it would be a perfect addition to the attraction for next year’s Star Wars Celebration VI.
Speaking of Disney, Williams is a huge Disney fan. He has not only taken part in Star Wars Weekends in 2010 but was also able to tour the hallowed ground of the Walt Disney Archives. Williams is also working on a Disney-inspired painting showcasing the Fab 5 (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto) playing jazz. “I was visiting the archives one day and thought doing a litho would be fun. I’ve been a Disney fan all my life,” Williams stated.
As of late the demand for Williams has been at a fevered pitch. He appears regularly on short clips on the Jimmy Kimmel Live as a semi-parody of himself. He played Toussaint Dubois for General Hospital: Night Shift and reprised his role as Toussaint on General Hospitalitself beginning in June 2009. Williams has also been doing voice acting for the animated series The Boondocks, where he voiced a fictionalized version of himself in the episode The Story of Lando Freeman as well as Robot Chicken and The Cleveland Show. In February 2011, Williams appeared as a guest star on USA Network’s White Collar as Ford, an old friend of Neal Caffrey’s landlady June, played by Diahann Carroll.
I was visiting the archives one day and thought doing a litho would be fun. I’ve been a Disney fan all my life. – Billy Dee Williams
Williams is no stranger doing fan events and conventions and enjoys meeting people and especially looks forward to the D23 Expo. Williams states, “I always enjoy it. … I’m looking forward to seeing everybody. I always look forward to the whole Disney experience.” Williams’ future projects include doing a production of Driving Miss Daisy on Broadway soon as well as working on new episodes of Robot Chicken.
Celebrate the grand re-opening of STAR TOURS 3-D with actor BILLY DEE WILLIAMS (aka Lando Calrissian) Billy Dee Williams will be at the D23 Expo from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Aug. 19 at the Coolwaters Productions booth #405 in the Exhibitor Showcase. (Fees DO apply)
CATCH THE SORCERER RADIO INTERVIEW!
Join hosts Kristen Hoetzel and Aljon Go on WDW Tiki Room as they chat with Billy Dee Williams and feature his thoughts on Disney, art, Star Wars and more! Tune into the WDW Tiki Room, the show about ALL THINGS DISNEY, Fridays 8:00 a.m. and 7 p.m./eastern on Sorcerer Radio – www.SRSounds.com.
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