The actor who played Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars franchise has spoken of how he considered taking his own life after the backlash to his character. Ahmed Best starred as Jar Jar Binks in 1999’s The Phantom Menace opposite Jake Lloyd.
Ahmed Best faced such backlash after playing Jar Jar in the Star Wars prequels that he considered taking his life, the actor revealed Tuesday. Ahmed Best wrote a moving post on Twitter where he said it was approaching 20 years since he faced resentment which “still affects my career today”. He did not name the franchise, but Phantom Menace, which was Best’s first major film role, was released in 1999.
20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today. 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. Would this be a good story for my solo show? Lemme know. pic.twitter.com/NvVnImoJ7N
— Ahmed BEst (@ahmedbest) July 3, 2018
Sharing a photo of him and his son looking out at a stretch of water, he tweeted: “20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today. 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 lift for survival. Would this be a good story for my solo show? Lemme [sic] know.”
Many people, among them Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, responded with words of encouragement. “Lots of love to you Ahmed. I think there are many of us who’d get quite a lot from hearing your story,” wrote Johnson.
Star Wars legend Frank Oz, who played Jedi master Yoda, also responded to Best saying he loved Jar Jar Binks. “I know I’ll get raked over the coals for saying that but I just will never understand the harshness of people’s dislike of him.”
Ahmed Best, who voiced the much-loathed character, previously said the hate towards Jar Jar was “painful”. Last year, Best told Wired that he had been shocked by the brutality of the fans’ reaction. “I had death threats through the internet,” he said. “I had people come to me and say, ‘You destroyed my childhood.’ That’s difficult for a 25-year-old to hear.”
Source: Ahmed Best (via Twitter)