Ahmed Best, who played Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars: Episode 1, opened up about contemplating suicide following his character’s severe backlash received nearly 20 years ago.
“20 years next year I faced a media backlash that still affects my career today. This was the place I almost ended my life,” tweeted Ahmed Best, who included a picture of himself and his son overlooking New York Harbor.
“It’s still hard to talk about. I survived and now this little guy is my gift for survival.”
Best portrayed the character for the first time in the 1999 film, which carried the titled The Phantom Menace. The 44-year-old also provided the voice and motion capture for Binks in the two following Star Wars movies Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, respectively.
The character, however, is considered one the worst-received characters in the franchise’s history. Best told Wired last year that he was shocked by how much his character was loathed.
“There were a lot of tears, there was a lot of pain, there was a lot of s–t I had to deal with. Everybody else went on. Everybody else worked. Everybody else was accepted by the zeitgeist,” he said. “To be honest, failing and being black is very scary, because we don’t get a lot of chances, you know? I didn’t get another chance after Jar Jar.”
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