A clumsy, well-meaning outcast on Naboo, Jar Jar Binks, from the Star Wars universe struggled to prove his worth throughout his life. Putting his awkward past behind him, Jar Jar left the swamps and became a representative for his people in the galactic capital.
The Career Of Annie Award-Winning Actor Ahmed Best
Ahmed Best is an American actor who was cast as Jar Jar in 1997. The performance ultimately won him an Annie Award and drew praise from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace star Liam Neeson. “I have to say when I was making that film, he was probably one of the funniest guys and talented guys I have ever worked with,” said Neeson on Andy Cohen’s radio show. “I remember calling my old ex-agent at ICM and said, ‘I think I just worked with the new Eddie Murphy.’ I still believe that.”
Best’s performance also drew lots of negative attention after the release of Episode I, which almost drove him to suicide.
“Twenty years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today,” Best tweeted in 2018 with a photo showing him and his son looking out at a river. “This was the place I almost ended my life. It’s still hard to talk about. I survived and now this little guy is my gift for survival.”
The actor has gone on to appear in a variety of other feature films and TV shows despite the controversy, in addition to some short films and voice work for animated projects. He contributed extensively to the Robot Chicken: Star Wars TV movies, for example, and several video games as well.
Appearences On TV Shows
The year after Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones hit theaters, Best played a small role in Alias, the hit show starring Jennifer Garner. In the 15th episode of its second season, Best appeared as “Seth.” Several years later, he would appear in another ABC show, playing the memorable character “Dwayne” in the “Mystery Man” episode of Cougar Town in 2009.
In the vain of his family-friendly Jar Jar Binks character, Best would then co-star in a couple of kids’ shows. He appeared in a few episodes of the Nickelodeon show Big Time Rush, as well as one episode of the Disney series Zeke and Luther in 2011. Also that year, Best would switch gears to a more adult-friendly series and play “Dell Gregory” in the “Runyon Canyon” episode of Law & Order: Los Angeles.
Appearences In Movies
Besides his prominent appearance in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Best appeared in a couple of other movies of note. He played the supporting character “Rufus” in the 2006 horror film Open Window starring Joel Edgerton. A few years later, he would appear in the 2009 film Mother and Child as “Julian” alongside an all-star cast including Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, and Kerry Washington. More recently, he co-starred in a small TV movie Eff’d, which is described as “The Big Lebowski meets Reservoir Dogs.”