Few can lay claim to being major parts of two enormous franchises. But Billy Dee Williams is someone that fits that category. The 79-year old veteran would go on to give Harvey Dent a face before it was split in two in 1989's Batman. Although we would never get to see him live out the villain in his true form.
9 years prior, Williams would take on the role of the intergalactic bounty hunter Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back. Seeing Donald Glover play the part for the new Han Solo spinoff, Williams has a return of sorts to voice his old DC character in the upcoming debut of The Lego Batman Movie as Two-Face.
BDW Takes The Turn of Events In His Stride
Speaking this week about all things Two-Face and Lando Calrissian, the actor appears at peace with how it all turned out. Given he missed the chance to play a real life villain on camera in the DC world.
"Well, it’s pretty ironic, I guess," starts Williams. "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."
Seeing the character played out for 1995's Batman Forever, Williams explains that he was a fan of that portrayal despite missing out on a personal note.
"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."
Williams Still Sees Lando and Himself as One
Sitting down over lunch with Donald Glover to talk all things Lando, the older counterpart outlined that they exchanged some ideas without going into too much detail.
"He’s a very delightful young man, I must say," explained Williams. "We had a very nice lunch and we talked for a very long time and it was very easy. He had questions about (Lando). I guess he was doing what normal actors do, they just want to find out what direction they want to take so they gather their information. So, we just sat and talked, and I didn’t want to impose on anything he wanted to do — he’s got his own ideas, I would imagine. I know he has his own ideas. He’s a very talented young man. In fact, I was listening to some of his music (Childish Gambino) and it’s pretty good stuff."
Whilst he might think highly of the new kid on the block, the Nighthawks star admitted that he still feels attached to Lando's persona and maintains reservations about the studio recreating him in any shape or form.
"I don’t know. To me, I guess what it is that I identify so much with Lando. I mean, Lando has been very much a part of my life for over 30 years," stated Williams. "When I go out and do conventions and stuff like that, even though people know me from all the other things that I’ve done, certainly (Lando) takes precedence. I just never thought of anybody else being Lando. I just see myself as Lando."