Actor Ahmed Best Opens Up About His ‘Star Wars’ Character Jar Jar Binks – ABC News
Stangroom interviewed the actor Ahmed Best about the role he took on in the late 1990s. Best started his acting career on the stage, performing in “Stomp” before landing the huge “Star Wars” gig.
“I was actually very well liked in ‘Stomp,'” he said. “‘Star Wars’ was actually my first ‘Most Hated’ title in anything, really.”
The actor, 42, was originally hired just to be the “physicality” of Jar Jar Binks. But “Star Wars” creator George Lucas later decided to have Best voice the character as well.
“I would read a lot of stories to kids,” Best explained on how he developed the character’s distinctive voice. “Jar Jar’s voice was kind of a character I had, like a little kid voice.”
“Star Wars” fans disapproved of the character and the backlash “was painful,” Best admitted.
“One of the biggest reasons why I took [the job] was the challenge of it,” he said. “Even though you sometimes play characters, you put a lot of your own personality into it. You get emotionally and personally invested in the work that you do. When your work is criticized negatively, you feel a little bit of hit.”
Best said he can understand why many adult “Star Wars” fans didn’t like Jar Jar Binks. The character could be “condescending,” he noted.
“I can understand how they wanted a more serious story,” he continued. “But the children really liked it.”
Could Jar Jar Binks ever show up again in “Star Wars”?
“No, I think I’ve done my damage,” he said.
“The Phantom Menace” grossed more than $430 million domestically, according to IMDB.