My short bio: Discovered in the Broadway Play STOMP, I played Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars Prequels. Since then, I've acted written and directed for all screens big and small.

My Proof:

Comments: 1306 • Responses: 77  • Date: 

Higher_Primate1583 karma

*Sigh* guess I'll be that guy....

How does it feel to have played one of the most unintentionally hated characters in movie history?

bestahmed1195 karma

I like the fact that you said unintentional. I feels great to be a part of movie history regardless of how anyone feels about him.

Artvandelay1429 karma

Did George Lucas ever say anything to you about Jar-Jar in light of the near-universal negative reaction towards him after The Phantom Menace? Obviously he intended for him to be likable and you were doing the best with the role you were given but I wonder if he felt the need to defend his character or explain himself to you during the production of the subsequent films.

bestahmed708 karma

He did. He let me know that this was nothing new. There was the same reaction to Chewbacca and the ewoks. HE sent me a stack of press from the original movies for proof. He never needed to defend his character. We new what the intention was.

bubbabubba345139 karma

I actually thought jar jar was pretty cool, but maybe that was in Lego Star Wars videogames

bestahmed248 karma

me too.

DarkeKnight360 karma

What's your favourite Star Wars movie?

bestahmed993 karma

Empire Strikes Back

tupper93338 karma

Did you come up with Jar Jar's voice and speech patterns, or was that given to you by the writers? If the latter, what was that conversation like?

bestahmed493 karma

It was all scripted. I just did the voice.

DudeExclamationPoint335 karma

Hey Mr. Best- Dunno if you remember, but we met backstage at the first Star Wars Celebration convention (in Denver). At the time I had just been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease/juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and was wheelchair-bound during the convention. I know there's a lot of Jarjar hate out there, but behind that face was a real cordial guy who helped make that weekend something to remember for a lifetime. I've long since been in remission, but it's still a great memory to look back on. So I just wanted to say thanks, fifteen years later.

bestahmed341 karma

Thanks my friend. you just made my day. Much love.

CoreyVidal300 karma

Hey Mr. Best,

I don't think you get nearly as much credit as you deserve, having played the first fully digital main character in film history. Without anywhere in filmmaking to look or research for previous experiences, how did you prepare for that kind of role when you were cast?

bestahmed337 karma

Thanks my man. It was tough because the tech was being invented as I was doing it. A lot of the inspiration for Jar Jar was from Buster Keaton. George and I would watch a lot of Buster Keaton together and he would tell what he liked and what he wanted. The final battle scene in Phantom Menace is almost all Buster Keaton.

alcoholland47 karma

What is the difference from an actor's perspective between a digitally rendered character and a cartoon? The acting is the same.

bestahmed141 karma

the difference would be performance. The animated cartoon is mostly realized by the animation artist. The CG Character is mostly realized by the actor, the animation artist then translates the actors performance in to animation.

IWriteScreenplays299 karma

Knowing what you know now about how your character in Star Wars would be received, by fans, critics, and the general public, would you still have said yes to taking on the role of Jar Jar Binks, and why?

bestahmed878 karma

YUP! I'm a skinny kid from the Bronx. I'm not supposed to be alive let alone a pro artist. Opportunities like SW come once in a lifetime. Those are the ones you say yes to.

MySonsdram258 karma

You're a brave man coming here. What project that you worked on are you most proud of?

bestahmed213 karma

Can't choose. I'm proud of all of them for different reasons.

happy_guy23197 karma

I guess most questions will be on the same theme but...

After filming Episode 1 and before it was released, how did you expect Jar Jar to be received? Did you manage to not take the hatred personally?

bestahmed685 karma

No, it hurt a lot. You put your heart and soul in to something groundbreaking for two years and it gets slammed, that hurts. But It made me stronger. Cheesy answer, but it's true.

OwenWard186 karma

In the special features on the Episode I DVD, you seem to be full of enthusiasm and always in good spirits. What are some of your favourite fun moments you had making the movie?

bestahmed346 karma

The submarine scene with me Liam and Ewan. We laughed through most of that. We were all very close, but Liam and I had a special thing when we were on screen together. I always thought we should do a buddy cop flick

Nefer_Seti250 karma

Meesa has a skill set that is particu-lahr!

Wild_Marker248 karma

Meesa will find youu!! And meesa will kill youu!!

bestahmed214 karma

hahahahah. Bring it. I'm hard to kill

idiot_nerd161 karma

How do you feel about all the people that found Jar Jar to be annoying?

bestahmed350 karma

they all have a right to their opinions. Star Wars belongs to the fans as much as it does all of us who were in the movies.

JohnnyH104160 karma

Are there no Ahmed's better than you?

bestahmed296 karma

I'm sure there are many. But not one with the birth right title of Best.

Sibbo94115 karma

Hi Ahmed, I know that you probably get a load of flak for Jar Jar, but I want to say thanks for the last arc you had in the Clone Wars - the one with Mace Windu, it made Jar Jar seem like a character that cared about something rather than a supporting character.

bestahmed168 karma

Thanks. Clone wars was something special. We had a great time doing those.

GeorgeDouglasMcFly97 karma

STOMP blew my mind as a kid in New York, and I've been fascinated with it ever since. I was wondering about the collaborative process on the show. Since the ensemble has to work in such close harmony, was there an evolution to the bits when a new cast member joined? Or was it more static and everyone just had to keep up?

bestahmed86 karma

STOMP was the best training I've ever had. Each person has a role and that role has a track that you follow. So new folks would learn each routine in the show following the role and track they were assigned. Some learned faster than others. in the beginning you have to hold on and keep up, but everyone catches up and flies really quickly.

devincooper6493 karma

So how did you end up being the actor for Jar Jar? Was there any competition for the role?

bestahmed352 karma

I auditioned. Michael Jackson really wanted to do it but George picked me. Marinate on that one. I still am.

JamesRenner92 karma

Have you had conversations with Abrams or anyone regarding Ep. 7?

bestahmed162 karma

Nope. I'd love to.

bestahmed92 karma

Thanks everyone for all the questions comments and feedback. This was a blast. please follow on twitter @ahmedbest instagram @bestahmed blog at tumbler


GreedE91 karma

Hi Mr Best! What was it like being directed by George Lucas, and how would you compare him to other directors you've worked with?

bestahmed152 karma

George and I worked very well together. He has the movie in his head before he shoots so he's super smart and efficient. He's also one of the kindest most generous directorsI've worked with. He doesn't say much. He let's actors act.

GreedE60 karma

Thanks for the reply. Mesa your humble servant.

bestahmed152 karma


Artvandelay171 karma

As far as you know, did George Lucas ever consider making any changes to Jar-Jar Binks in light of the general negative reaction towards him?

bestahmed149 karma

Not to the character, but to the story arc there were huge changes.

OwenWard57 karma

That's really interesting, could you elaborate on that by any chance?

bestahmed168 karma

I think George wanted to give the fans what they wanted. That meant more lightsabers and less Gungans.

medcur69 karma

I found Jar Jar funny and didn't have a problem with him at all so I wondered what your take is on why there was so much opposition to him.

bestahmed77 karma

Everyone has their reasons. I'm glad you liked him.

Rosenkrantz_66 karma

What's your favorite dinosaur?

bestahmed107 karma


Twitch9265 karma

Who was your favorite actor to work with in Star Wars, and why was it Ewan McGregor?

bestahmed57 karma

I love them all. Most of my scenes were with Liam, but Ewan and Natalie and Liam were all wonderful.

infernoenigma58 karma

Aside from JarJar, which role are you proudest of / do you wish people knew you from instead?

bestahmed165 karma

i'm probably most proud of STOMP. I was the lead in that show off and on for 10 years. That show felt tailor made for me. There would be no 'instead' for me. i love all the things I've done for their reasons.

Jah_Fooly49 karma

Did you get/Are you still getting royalties from any of the Jar Jar merchandise?

bestahmed75 karma


Kenny__Loggins2 karma

He had to give half his salary to help pay for the cost of burning all the merch nobody bought.

bestahmed16 karma

Don't quit your day job.

thatguy42548 karma

How did you feel being passed over for an Oscar?

bestahmed151 karma

Never thought about it until you asked. excuse me while i cry in my Dunkin Donuts mug.

zachattack66742 karma

How is your day going so far?

bestahmed116 karma

A bit hung over. Not enough coffee.

Ineversawsixthsense37 karma

Do you ever bust out in your Jar-Jar voice at random times. Mostly to impress everyone around you and to be swarmed by fans?

bestahmed112 karma

Not really. I will only do it for kids.

Danielrh935 karma

How do you feel about the assertions that Jar Jar (and other alien characters in the Prequels) were racist caricatures? Additionally, what's your opinion on the "fan-edits" that gave Jar Jar an entirely alien language with subtitles to detract from the issue?

bestahmed78 karma

The racism charge has no legs. There is no legit argument for it. P.S. I'm really good at debating racism and Jar Jar so please no takers you will be sonned. I love the fan edits. Star wars is as much the Fan's as it is ours. Be creative. I'm doing a sci-fi webshow called the Nebula and I will be encouraging fan edits.

johnnason33 karma

Hi! Thanks for doing this AMA.

What is your personal opinion of the Star Wars prequels? Were you a Star Wars fan before signing onto them?

bestahmed74 karma

I was a huge Fan! First movie I ever laid eyes on was SW A New Hope. So I grew up with it. I am biased to the prequels, so I love them.

Johnny_Welfare32 karma

Before the first film came out, did you expect to have a larger role in Episodes II and III? Your time in both sequels was seriously condensed.

Also, in the summer of 1999 me and my friends drank an unhealthy amount of Pepsi and Mountain Dew in an attempt to find a can with Jar Jar on it. Just saying.

bestahmed63 karma

I've come to learn that you have to role with the punches when it comes to scripts and sequels. I'm a fan of working and the less work there is for me on the page the harder it is for me. I have a can if you want one. it's not cheap though ;-)

Sterculius29 karma

Was there any sense on-set during the prequels, particularly during filming of Episode 1 that it might not be up to the audience's expectations as it now has a reputation for, much in the same way that there was famously a lot of ridicule from the cast and crew during the filming of A New Hope? Or was everyone generally happy with the job they were doing and just excited to be apart of Star Wars?

bestahmed74 karma

Happy and excited. We were doing Star Wars!

Frajer29 karma

Have you found Jar Jar Binks enthusiasts?

bestahmed94 karma

Many. contrary to popular belief there are more enthusiasts than non-enthusiasts. But, I appreciate all. I don't discriminate.

StNic5422 karma

Hi Ahmed, and thank you for doing this AMA. What project(s) do you have that you'd like to talk about?

bestahmed35 karma

Doing a bunch of stuff. Mostly Web. Best thing to do is Check my website, most of my work will be there I also write regularly on my blog. I have a webshow called 2blackdudes that's out soon that's very funny, and a scifi comedy called th NEBULA out soon.

AlmostPerfekt21 karma

How were you dressed when shooting the scenes? I always thought that jar jar was 100% cgi and they just added him into the scenes after shooting. Did you just record the voice for jar jar or were you actually in the scenes? Also a video of you in front of a camera doing jar jars voice would be amazing to see! Thank you for your time!! (From someone who actually loved jar jar binks)

bestahmed58 karma

thanks for the love. I was dressed like the character then the CGi was added over my movements. by ep 2 they figured a lot of stuff out so my Jar Jar 'skin' was less by 2 and 3. I was in every scene Jar Jar was in.

sexymafratelli20 karma

Let's talk about your music. You're writing, producing, and I assume performing music in and around New York, yeah? What defines your personal style of performance, and do you have a musical crew that you run with (perform regularly?)

bestahmed30 karma

My musical style is very influenced by soul music. I have a jazz background and a R&B foundation. But I have rock n roll stage performance attitude. But if it's honest and comes from the soul I'm in.

deejayfourex20 karma

you did voice work for jar jar on several star wars video games. which was your favorite to work on? to play? have you considered doing VG voice work for non-jar jar parts?

bestahmed58 karma

CLone wars and RObot Chicken were my favorites. I do a lot of VO work.

thesissylard18 karma

Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized Rancors, or one Rancor-sized duck?

bestahmed83 karma

one rancor sized duck. plus the aftermath would be delicious. No dis to vegetarians.

Kknowsbest17 karma

If they made a movie about your lIfe, who would play you (other than yourself)?

bestahmed73 karma

Zoe Saldana. She gets everything.

strongbadpenis15 karma

Ahmed. I frikkin worshipped you when I was 9. I've always wanted to be a voice actor, and I always loved Jar Jar, despite the hate. Thanks for workin so hard.

bestahmed16 karma

thank you

takedownchris15 karma

Listening to the joe rogan podcast recently they talked how jar jars lines and demeanor could be construed as racist. Do you find this to be accurate?

bestahmed43 karma


juicycunts13 karma

Monsters out there, leaking in here. Weesa all sinking and no power. Whena yousa thinking we are in trouble?

bestahmed14 karma

hahaha. favorite scene.

MrDorkESQ12 karma

Thanks for coming here Ahmed.

I personally enjoyed your performance in the Star Wars franchise, maybe it is because I was 36 when Phantom Menace was released and realized that it was just a friggin movie. People who have that much hate over a work of fiction and can't appreciate the amount of work that went into it need to get over it, or watch Gigli and see if they still have so much hate for episodes 1-3. :o)

I was wondering did you do any of the touring shows with Stomp? If so, how is life on the road with a touring company?

bestahmed17 karma

I did. I love the road. it's tough when you're away from home for months at a time, but i love new places and people.

15chainz12 karma

Is there any chance Jar-Jar gets in the new Star Wars movie?

bestahmed61 karma

Don't think so. I would love to be someone in the Solo family. Maybe his drunk uncle Jed solo.

cbwatts113810 karma

How did your cameo in Attack of the Clones in the nightclub scene happen? Did you ask for it or did they ask you to do it?

bestahmed13 karma

Anthony Daniels. (C3PO) he made it happen.

-Narble-8 karma

What were some of your favorite memories of being part of the Star War prequels?

bestahmed18 karma

Tunisia was the best. There's something about that place that made me feel at home. I loved it. I saw an Oasis there that would make you cry.

tsularesque8 karma

I've heard that Ewan Macgregor made lightsaber noises while filming the scenes where he's using that kickass weapon.

Did you, or any of the cast, feel tempted to fill in your own effects or anything similar? I could imagine just being on the set of Star Wars would make it tempting.

bestahmed11 karma

He did. we all did sound effects on set. it was fun.

Kknowsbest8 karma

What is the best advice ever given to you?

bestahmed26 karma

We are all married to the same woman.

AdamBertocci-Writer7 karma

Do you keep up with the technology and technique behind making digital / motion-capture characters that Jar Jar paved the way for? It really is amazing how quickly it went from groundbreaking technology to the going thing!

bestahmed14 karma

I do. Andy Serkis is really moving everything forward. Imaginarium in London is rocking the house.

YiPlandar6 karma

Mr. Best! I hear you are a jiujitsu bad ass. How and why did you get involved with this most noble of martial arts?

bestahmed19 karma

I've been doing martial arts since I was very young. I've done many of them. As I got older i was tired of hitting and being hit. I also love wearing a GI. I found john Machado and machado BJJ and immediately felt at home. Been with John for 10 years now. i love BJJ. It's a part of me.

Polde6 karma

Hi Ahmed, welcome.

1) Do you still talk with the rest of the cast from the Star Wars prequels?

2) Apart from acting, what hobbies do you enjoy?

bestahmed21 karma

I drop them a line form time to time. I'm a martial artist and a musician.

nick81976 karma

What Star Wars memorabilia from the set did you get? If anything?

bestahmed17 karma

Nada. IT's all in the Smithsonian.

dipandrip6 karma

What was the hardest part of filing the star wars movies? Also where do you see yourself in 10 years?

bestahmed28 karma

Tunisia in 100+degrees in that latex suit was tough. I will tell you in 5 years.

HasLotsOfFriends5 karma

Theres a deleted scene in Phantom Menace in which Jar Jar dies. Was this the original idea? If so, why do you think they ditched it and kept you alive? Also, during filming, was anyone worried that Jar Jar might not be well recieved? Thank you!

bestahmed33 karma

There is no deleted scene of Jar Jar dying. No one was worried.

James2wenty5 karma

How do you feel about the reaction that people had to Jar-Jar?

If you watch the making of the Phantom Menace there is a lot of George mentioning Jar Jar's character being key to the film working, this clearly wasnt the case. Can you give us to more of an insight into the swift removal of Jar-Jar as a key character in the later films, at least in terms of being center stage as a character in the films?

Said video of George making these claims:

bestahmed12 karma

The story didn't call for him to be. At the end of the day I'm in service to the story.

lacecorsetdolly3 karma

Hey Mr. Best!

My brother and I often spoke like Jar Jar Binks to each other for many years following the new Star Wars episodes. Until I discovered Reddit I had no idea he was so disliked. No question but thanks for providing endless hours of amusement for us.

bestahmed5 karma

Thank you.

Stonewall_Jaxon2 karma

What was your favorite moment out of all three movies?

bestahmed2 karma

Obi wan, Anakin fight

Captain_Balko2 karma

Hi Ahmed!

I have two questions,

I was wondering: If you were asked to reprise your role as Jar Jar some time in the future, would you do it?

And also, if you could change something about your original performance as Jar Jar Binks, would you? And if so, what would you change?

bestahmed11 karma

I honestly don't know if I would reprise him. I wouldn't change anything. George liked him and he's the boss.

typekwondo2 karma

what kind of direction did george lucas give you for playing jar jar? i mean was he based on anything or anyone?

bestahmed3 karma

He was based on Buster Keaton.

rdkra2 karma

Do you feel the general opinion of Jar Jar is justified?

bestahmed9 karma

Opinions vary. It's not my place to call them justified or unjustified. SW is important to a lot of people in a lot of ways. Everyone feels close to the stories. It's a personal movie. I don't judge opinions.

Thatsnotcoolbro601 karma

What was your favorite thing about playing Jar Jar?

bestahmed1 karma

Being there with great people. Everyone involved was great. IT was a great time.

jatorres1 karma

Favorite ice cream flavor?

bestahmed3 karma

rum raisin

bukakke_surprise1 karma


bestahmed4 karma

Not my first rodeo.

archetype10 karma

Hi Ahmed- how did you feel about Jar-Jar's Death Scene being cut from the movie/what was the deciding factor there? I suppose you appreciated the extra work..

bestahmed2 karma

No death scene was shot, nor written. Although I would've loved to play a death scene. I love death scenes.

snuffuser0 karma

Does yousa love meesa?

bestahmed1 karma

Buy me a drink first then we'll see.