Donald Glover Says Playing Lando in 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Is a 'Highlight' of His Life (Exclusive)

The 'Atlanta' star opened up to ET at the premiere of the new sci-fi epic, and he dished on why stepping into Billy Dee William's space boots means so much to him.

Donald Glover says he's truly living a dream he's had since he was a young child, watching Star Wars with his dad.

While Solo: A Star Wars Story is, ostensibly, a film about the beloved roguish smuggler Han Solo in his younger years, one of the most anticipated performances comes from Glover as a youthful Lando Calrissian -- and for the acclaimed Atlanta star, getting cast in the iconic role was something truly special.

"There's a lot of stuff going on [in my career], but this is definitely a highlight," Glover told ET's Cameron Mathison at the star-studded red carpet premiere of Solo at Disney's El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on Thursday.

"My dad, he really grew me up on [Star Wars], so like this is an apex of a lot of feelings, so it's great," said Glover, adding that getting to see the film finally hit screens across the country "really is a dream."

"I would have never thought I'd be able to be a part of it," he explained. "Like, as a child, I used to play with the toys, I used to watch the movie. I had a VHS of it that my dad ripped from a laserdisc. I'm speaking gibberish to anybody born after 1987, but it was pivotal for me."

"To be a part of this family and to be able to play young Lando, a hero of mine, you know, it's stuff dreams are made of, so I feel really blessed," he added.

Glover also addressed the season two finale of Atlanta, which also aired Thursday night, and admitted that he doesn't usually watch his show when it airs on TV.

"I don't even really watch the episodes when they air anymore, I just go on Black Twitter and just see, like, what people are saying," Glover said. "I like watching through the people. It's way more fun because you get everybody's take on it."

Hours before the red carpet premiere kicked off, Glover was down the street from the El Capitan Theatre, sitting down on Jimmy Kimmel Live! where he shared a few more insights on his experiences getting cast as Lando and preparing for the role.

"I told my agent, I was like, 'If they're making a Han Solo movie, Lando's gotta be in it and I want to be Lando,'" Glover recounted for Kimmel. "And to his credit, and I appreciate it, he was like, 'I don't like your odds.' Which was awesome, because I was like, 'I'm gonna get this.'"

After signing on to play the character, Glover said he reached out to Billy Dee Williams -- who originally played the character in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 -- to meet up and talk about the famous fictional figure.

Glover admitted that he'd gotten the idea after learning that co-star Alden Ehrenreich, who plays Han, had met with Harrison Ford to get a better grip on playing the iconic scoundrel.

"I met him here [in L.A.], because I had already heard that Alden met [Harrison Ford], and I talked to him, and he did all this research and they talked about it a lot. So I wanted to come in and do that too," Glover recalled.

"So I came in with all this stuff, I was like, 'Maybe Lando's from this planet, maybe his family's rich,' just all these maybes and questions that I had, and I just lay it all out there," he continued. "And, I don't even think he was looking at me when he said it, but Billy's like, 'I don't know, just be charming, man.'"

"It taught me a valuable lesson: Don't over think this," Glover added, laughing. "Just be cool."

Glover then had a special surprise in the works for those who came out to watch Kimmel's show, which he revealed when asked about who he was planning on bringing to the big premiere later in the evening.

"I got a few people, a few family members. But there's still a few seats open," Glover said, before looking up at the audience with a coy smile. "Anybody wanna go?"

"Well you can't just take one or two members of the audience, it wouldn't be right," Kimmel said over the wild yelling from the crowd. "It's like gum, you have to have some for the whole class."

"Well, I'll take all of you guys, if you all wanna go," Glover responded, to a roaring cheer from the studio audience. It's hard to beat that when it comes to getting an unexpected surprise during a late night talk show taping.

Check out the video below to hear more from Glover about how much fun Solo is, among the pantheon of Star Wars films.

Solo: A Star Wars Story rockets into theaters May 25 -- almost exactly 38 years after the premiere of The Empire Strikes Back, where fans first met Lando Calrissian and he became an indelible pop-culture figure.



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