This is what it's like to be the man behind Jar Jar Binks
It's not easy being semi-responsible for one of the most despised movie characters of all time, but Ahmed Best, who brought Jar Jar Binks to life in the "Star Wars" prequels and cemented his place in film infamy, seems to have taken it in stride.
Best was interviewed by British journalist Jamie Stangroom for Stangroom's YouTube series where he talks to some lesser-known actors from the "Star Wars" franchise. Best says he was performing in "Stomp" when he was cast as Jar Jar. Initially, he was just the motion capture actor, but George Lucas ended up using his voice for the part as well. Best didn't expect the character to be so reviled (who would?) and admits that it was "painful" and he took it "a little bit" personally.
"You put a lot of your own personality into it and you get emotionally and personally invested in the work that you do," Best says.
But he also understands why so many fans hated the character: Jar Jar was "purely comical and purely for the children," and adult fans "probably felt a bit condescended to." (Yeah, just a bit.) Best says he would never return to the role for the movies ("it's time to move on"), though I will point out that he has voiced Jar Jar in various cartoons and video games up until very recently.
There are lighter moments in the interview, too: Best talks about Liam Neeson, a jealous Michael Jackson, and his least favorite Jar Jar merchandise (it's a lollipop of Jar Jar's tongue, and it is truly awful). Best also does Jar Jar Binks as Neeson's character in "Taken" at the end, and that alone makes the interview worth watching.
Best has spoken about his experience as Jar Jar before, including a reddit AMA and an appearance at "Star Wars" Weekends in 2014. But I do believe this is the first time he's admitted his hatred for the Jar Jar lollipop or done Jar Jar as Liam Neeson.