Billy Dee Williams was one of the first guests announced for Dutch Comic Con 2016 . Mr. Williams is mostly known for his role of Lando Calrissian in "Star Wars" ("Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) and "Episode VI: Return of the Jedi"(1983)). But he also playes the role of public attorney Harvey Dent in "Batman". As I am a big fan of "Star Wars" ánd Batman, you can imagine how pleased I was when I read this news.
Mr Williams was born as William December Williams, april 6th 1937 in New York. When you do the quick math you'll learn he turns 79 in little more than a week. Because of his age, it's very likely that this is one of the last times he will appear on a convention in Europe. I had to meet him, so buying a photo op ticket was one of the first things I did when we arrived at Dutch Comic Con (a quick visit to the artist alley was obviously the first thing we did). Since we had a weekend ticket, I decided to get a photo op-ticket for day 2. After this Carola and I returned to the artist alley but Mr. Williams was nowhere to be seen. As it was still early and a few of the other guest also hadn't arrived yet, we decided to make a round in the merchandise area, but when we got back: still no Billy! I was starting to worry a little bit, but we had planned to visit some Q&A's and have something to eat. We agreed to check out the artist alley again after this. When we got back all of the guests had arrived and the excitement reached high levels. Also there was a queue at Billy's table so, yeay he must have arrived. With a big smile I walked towards the queue, to catch my first glimpse and .... WHAT??? Still no Billy?? My palms became sweaty and I was ready to put out a Missing Persons Report on the guy. I walked up to one of the DCC guys and asked him what was going on. Turns out Billy had been signing photographs on and off throughout the day , but because of his age he had to take breaks more often. I almost hugged the guy for bringing me the good news. Not long after that I finally catched my first glimpse of Mr Williams. I was over the moon, but "boy oh boy" the guy got old. I guess you forget that the people, who played in your favourite (childhood) movies, get older too. Nevertheless he looked good and seemed to be enjoying himself.
Later that day we made our way to the Q&A-area to attend his Q&A.
That was real fun. Although at some moments Mr. Williams seemed a little bit confused, he talked about how he had a special time working on the Star wars movie and how he was blessed to work with one of the best directors of that time. He also talked about how he took his grandson to "Episode VII: The Force Awakens" on opening night. When asked what his thoughts about the movie were he said:
"I saw it opening night, took my grandson. It was really a very good movie. I thought it was a very well balanced production with very good writing. I thought the actors were really superb, especially that girl..that girl was unbelievable. I thought it was a very well done movie."
He also answered a question, that has left fans puzzled since it was brought up in an episode of "Family Guy". "Why is Lando wearing Han's clothes at the end of "Empire Strikes Back"?" There are a lot of theories about this (apparently), but Billy answered the question once and for all with his own theory:
"They were lovers"
This answer made the whole audience burst out in laughter.
After all the "Star Wars" questions I decided to ask a question about "Batman". I walked up to the microphone and asked him: "Who is you favorite "Batman"? This was his somewhat confusing but also hilarious answer:
"I have to confess I haven't really watched any of the movies. But Christian Bale, he played it right? Did he play Batman? Yeah he was real good. He's still alive isn't he? Didn't one of those guys die or something like that? Did one of them kill himself or something like that? (Someone in the audience shouts:" The joker dies") No I mean one of the actors... Oh the guy who played The Joker he died? I think Christian Bale is a very good Batman and so is...when I was in Batman..uhm what's his name?...I don't know... I don't know actors. I have no idea who the actors are..They' re all good!"
I was very glad to have the chance to ask the question and to have him answering it to me in person. Great answer too, lol. It was a great Q&A and I'm glad we had the chance to attend
On Sunday it was time for the photo op. When I walked into the photobooth I saw Mr. Williams was sitting on a high chair. When it was my turn I walked up to him and shook his hand. He was very nice. This photo will absolutely get a prominent spot on my wall of fame. It was great to meet the man who portrayed Lando in one of the most iconic movies of all time. So: Mr. Williams thank you for visiting The Netherlands and for making my day!