I’ve been a fan of Dancing with the Stars for years. As a fan I couldn’t help but notice the many changes taking place this season, including dropping a host (the gorgeous Brooke Burke-Charvet) and switching partners mid-season (seriously? It takes a long time to build the trust to let someone throw you around a dance floor). However my big concern or should I say irritation came with the announcement of the celeb line up. Billy Dee Williams (that’s right Lando Calrissian himself) is one of the cast members.
What am I talking about, may be your first thought? I thought you loved Billy Dee? Well, I did. If this announcement had been made in 2011, my panties would have been immediately damp. It’s not like I dislike him now, let me get that out up front.
I just don’t believe that he should be competing on this show. You see he has health issues that could make it very painful. In fact, they make it very painful for him to move around a tiny bit in a seated position. I don’t know if you are aware of this but he has had two hip replacements. No, I didn’t find this out online. His son told me.
Now, let’s travel back in time since I know you are very confused at this point.
In 2012 I was attending a somewhat local convention, that I frequent fairly often. I became incredibly excited when Billy Dee Williams was announced as a guest. OMFG! the fangirl in me screamed. I knew I was going the moment I read about it.
So what happened?
Meeting Billy Dee Williams was, uh, not what I expected. Having my sister bring me a 40 of Colt 45 seemed clever at the time but apparently it’s been done…often. Autographs were not cheap and I kind of thought that I should have just skipped it but I was lugging this thing around. Plus Pennsylvania has odd liquor laws which is why I had to have her bring it from Maryland. Mr. Williams didn’t seem all that friendly. If you’ve ever met Tom Savini then you’ll know what I mean. It was a bit like that. I gushed over my love of his work in Star Wars and Undercover Brother. He was nonplussed.
I did want to get a photo with him as well so I purchased the professional photo (the only option in this instance). I had to wait about an hour to get my photo taken. In that time I was able to snap a couple of other fun pics. Plus I took something for my anxiety. It had kicked in when I showed up for the photo so while I do feel that he was way cooler/nicer during said photo this could just be from my somewhat altered state of mind.
Sidenote, while waiting I (and some guys I overheard) were remarking/thinking about how much Billy Dee’s son (Corey Dee Williams, Klaatu in Return of the Jedi) looked like him when he was younger (it’s more noticeable in person, he was also his stand in during filming of Return of the Jedi) so I decided to pay a few extra bucks and buy a double photo at the last minute. Now this was crazy. The dude who was assisting whistled for Corey. He whistled like people do to dogs. Corey looks at us (yes, now in my mind Billy Dee Williams & I are an us, xd) and says “Did he just whistle at me?”. I was stunned as well.
I got a great photo, they were awesome and as I walked out of the makeshift room (a curtain) I said “You both look great by the way”. Yes, I hit on both of them at once. Because apparently (according to my sister, who is correct), that is my thing.
If you are a loyal reader you may wonder why you’ve never seen that before. Well I originally posted it in May the 4th Be with You (& Me) in 2012. The next day I was contacted by Billy Dee Williams son, Corey Dee Williams. That correspondence is as follows. Thanks Yahoo Mail. (I would also like to note that my awkwardness aka severe social anxiety and fumbling attempts at talking to other cast members is in that post and none of them or their family members have messaged me to make me feel like an asshat. Thank you Jake Lloyd, you are awesome.)
When I received that email I had some conflicting thoughts. When it came down to it I felt bad. I felt like I was the worst human being ever. So I spent over $100 to meet an actor, get something signed and get a photo with him, so what? He was elderly, like my parents. At that time Billy Dee Williams was 75, my parents were both within a few years of that age. Corey made sense. I changed my blog post. I sent an apology email. Shown below.
BTW-Both of us were wrong about how I could have been contacted at that time. He could have done what he did, which worked or he could have left a comment, which would have also worked. I was wrong, because I hadn’t been using Facebook that much and it was auto set to block messages from people I wasn’t friends with. I’ve since corrected this.
Since then I’ve felt conflicted though. Shouldn’t it be in a fan’s best interest to know about real interactions at conventions prior to laying out your (probably) valued dough? It’s not like I forced him to attend conventions. That probably had more to do with the fact that he needed cash. He’d put his house up for sale earlier that year. I felt the fangirl and the inner journalist duke it out. Yes, I’ve written quite a few advertorials on my site but I don’t try to blatantly lie or omit important things from posts. I joked about it with family and friends. Not his health, but his son’s over-protectiveness (that is the nicest way I’ve ever said this). That was how I dealt with it.
When I heard that he would be a cast member on the newest season of Dancing with the Stars last week, I was shocked though. Now you probably think that I have some weird personal vendetta against, frankly, a sexy, talented actor. NO, No, I do not. I still like him. I do. I do not think that he should be dancing on the show though. Is it “all of the sudden” gonna come out weeks into the show after other actors are eliminated that he has health problems in order to get your sympathy? Maybe, DWTS does that. I know that and if you are a regular viewer you know that. Does that make it right? Does that make it smart? No. Don’t be fooled. He’s a 77 year old man with bad health problems. Save your votes. Use them on someone who is making a wiser life decision.
BTW-I met Peter Mayhew after that (before his surgery, when he was probably in crazy intense pain, that I didn’t know of). No money changed hands. He was nicer. Just sayin’.
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