Billy Dee Williams Totally Spoiled 'Empire Strikes Back' in 1980 'Today' Interview

The Lando Calrissian actor may have given away a twist, but thankfully didn't reveal the film's biggest secret.
Lucasfilm Ltd./20th Century Fox/Photofest
Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian in 'The Empire Strikes Back' (1980)

Oh, come on, Lando! 

Billy Dee Williams totally spoiled The Empire Strikes Back while promoting the film on the Today show in 1980. 

To be fair, it was not completely his fault.

The segment got off to a rough start when the person interviewing the actor couldn't pronounce "Calrissian," his character's last name. She then asked him about playing a "evil guy."

That didn't sit right with Williams, who felt he had to come to Lando's defense, which in turn totally ruined the Cloud City twist, in which he double-crossed Han Solo (Harrison Ford).

"He not evil," Williams began. "He's just a guy caught in a situation. I mean, there's Darth Vader, there's his best friend and there's his situation. And he's got to figure out how he's going to deal with all this." 

Williams goes on to say the character is a "new hero" who would definitely be back in the third film. 

True, it was a different time, and the culture of spoilers the way we understand it now didn't exist. Still, it must have been a shame for fans who caught that interview who hadn't seen the film yet. 

But to his credit, Williams did not let the biggest secret in the film of Luke Skywalker's parentage slip. 

The beloved actor recently had some sage advice for Donald Glover, who will be playing a younger version of Lando in the upcoming Han Solo stand-alone film. 

The two met for lunch, and Glover told The Hollywood Reporter he went into a huge spiel about his understanding of Lando Calrissian and what he hoped to bring to the character. 

"[Williams] just let me ramble on and on, and then finally I was like, 'So, what do you think?' And he goes, 'Yeah, I don't know about all that. Just be charming,'" said Glover. 

What the 1980 interview below.

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