Being a part of perhaps one of Hollywood’s biggest, most pre-eminent franchises, felt like a dream come true for Ahmed Best when he first joined the galactic world of Star Wars. Famous for playing the clumsy Gungan pariah Jar Jar Binks, what the actor, however, witnessed, was far from a dreamy acting gig. If anything, it turned into a pulsating nightmare so petrifying that it pushed him to take his own life.
Jar Jar Binks Star Looks Back on Dark Times
Although he’s back in the game with renewed vigor now, it goes without saying that Ahmed Best’s Star Wars tenure when he first set foot in the franchise, transpired as one of the darkest times of his life. And that is exactly what he revisits on the Ted-produced podcast The Redemption of Jar Jar Binks – the time when he was at rock bottom owing to frighteningly overzealous and toxic Star Wars fans.
Best, 49, who first portrayed Jar Jar Binks in Episode I: The Phantom Menace before reprising the role throughout the Prequel Trilogy, reflected on the vehement fan backlash that drove him to the point of depression which soon spiraled into a suicide attempt. And all he could think during that foggy 3 a.m. morning at the Brooklyn Bridge was –
“I’ll show all of you. I’ll show you what you’re doing to me. And when I’m gone, then you’ll feel exactly what I went through.”
The actor and comedian disclosed how all the vehement hatred that was hurled at both him and his on-screen character, began way before the films hit the big screens; from derision and criticism about racial stereotypes to full-blown death threats, Best was forced to encounter the odious underbelly of fame when Star Wars fans practically made it their mission to make his life living hell.
Rising Like A Phoenix From the Ashes
At one point, things got so out of hand that the relentless death threats made it increasingly difficult for him to even step out of his New York City apartment.
“It was terrible. It was the lowest I’ve ever been in my life.”
Soon after that tempestuous period, Best then moved to Los Angeles where he filmed Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, only to be reduced to a mere “footnote” after his character was undermined and reduced to essentially nothing. But, he didn’t leave any stones unturned in picking himself up and penning a new and brighter chapter of his life.
After he sublimated his energies into martial arts and film school, Best then unearthed love and the joys of fatherhood; he’s been married to his spouse Raquel Horsford for almost two decades now and they share a son.
As for his career, Best recently appeared in the Star Wars universe as a Jedi master named Kelleran Beq in Chapter 20 of the Disney+ series, The Mandalorian.
Source: The Guardian