Ahmed Best

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Ahmed Best
10.2.10AhmedBestByLuigiNovi.jpg
Best during his first convention appearance at the Big Apple Convention in Manhattan, October 2, 2010
Born (1973-08-19) August 19, 1973 (age 47)
NationalityAmerican
OccupationActor
Musician
Dancer
Years active1989–present
Height6ft ¾ in (184.8 cm)
Spouse(s)Raquel Horsford Best

Ahmed Best (born August 19, 1973) is an American actor, musician known for providing motion capture and the voice of the character of Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars franchise.

Best likewise collaborated with director George Lucas in three films and seven episodes of the cartoon show, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He won the Annie Award for Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production for lampooning Jar Jar Binks in Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II.

Early life[edit]

Ahmed Best was born on August 19, 1973, in New York City. He lived the majority of his formative years in the Soundview section of the Bronx. He moved to Maplewood, New Jersey, in 1984. He attended Columbia High School and graduated from there in 1991. He then studied percussion at the Manhattan School of Music.[1]

He is the younger brother of Dunia Best Sinnreich, lead singer and co-founder of Brave New Girl, Dubistry and Agent 99 and formerly with The Slackers.

Career[edit]

In 1994, Best joined the acid jazz group The Jazzhole. He contributed to the success of the group for two years. He co-wrote and co-produced three albums for the group including The Jazzhole, And the Feeling Goes Around, and The Beat is the Bomb. In 1995, he co-wrote and co-produced Escape by Bill Evans.

In 1995, he joined the Obie Award winning cast of Stomp. He toured with the cast of Stomp throughout the US and Europe.[1]

In 1997, after casting director Robin Gurland had observed his flexible, athletic movements in Stomp, Ahmed was cast as Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999–2005). He reprised the role on the Star Wars themed episode of Robot Chicken (as well as its sequel), Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and on an episode of Stephen Colbert's The Colbert Report.[episode needed] Best said he put a lot of himself into the character, so when Jar Jar drew hostility from audiences, it sometimes extended toward the actor or he otherwise interpreted it personally. The character of Jar Jar Binks was so disliked that Best contemplated suicide.[2][3][4] Best later appeared with fellow Star Wars alumni Dee Bradley Baker, James Arnold Taylor, and Daran Norris on the TV show Big Time Rush.[5]

In 2008, he also wrote, directed, and produced the pilot for a television show called This Can't Be My Life.[6]

In late May 2020, Lucasfilm announced that Best would be starring as Jedi Master Kelleran Beq in a game-show called Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge, with a scheduled release date of June 3, 2020.[7][8] It was later reported that Jedi Temple Challenge's release date had been delayed until June 10 as a result of the unrest surrounding George Floyd's murder.[9][10][11]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Note
1989 Lean on Me Extra
1999 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace Jar Jar Binks (voice and performance capture)
2002 Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones Jar Jar Binks (voice) and Achk Med-Beq
Armitage: Dual Matrix Mouse (voice) English version
2004 Kangaroo Jack: G'Day U.S.A.! Louis Booker (voice)
2005 Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith Jar Jar Binks (voice)
2006 Open Window Rufus
2009 Mother and Child Julian
2010 The Pink House Actor Judge
2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams Crow
2011 Poolboy: Drowning Out The Fury Sidney Moncrief
Some Guy Who Kills People Mayor Maxwell
2012 FDR: American Badass! Curtis
2013 DJ Mouse (Armitage segments)
W.M.D. News Reporter

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Note
2003 Alias Seth Episode: "A Free Agent"
2006 The Colbert Report Jar Jar Binks (voice) Episode: "George Lucas"
2007 Robot Chicken: Star Wars Jar Jar Binks and AT-AT Driver (voice) TV movie
2008 This Can't Be My Life Ahmed Episode: "The Pink Pages"
Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II Jar Jar Binks and Stormtrooper (voice) TV movie
Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production or Short Form
5 Second Movies Himself
2008–14 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Jar Jar Binks (voice) 7 episodes
2009 Cougar Town Dwayne Episode: "Mystery Man"
2009–12 Big Time Rush Marketer / Rob 3 episodes
2010 Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III Jar Jar Binks and Carl the Stormtrooper (voice) TV movie
2011 Law & Order: LA Dell Gregory Episode: "Runyon Canyon"
Zeke and Luther Sal Sackelson Episode: "Bro'd Trip"
In the Flow with Affion Crockett Black Jock
2012 Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out Jar Jar Binks (voice) TV short
2020 Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge Jedi Master Kelleran Beq
The George Lucas Talk Show Himself Episode: "Best in Show"

Short films[edit]

Year Title Role Note
2002 Friendly Criminal Himself
2003 The Stockholm Syndrome Himself
There's a Sucker Born Every Minute Nathan
2005 Escorched Richard Prentiss
2007 Charlie's Bitch Ass Hos Makeafoolofme West
2008 This Can't Be My Life Ahmed

Documentary[edit]

Year Title Role Note
1999 From Star Wars to Star Wars: The Story of Industrial Magic Himself
2001 The Beginning: Making Star Wars Episode 1 Himself
R2-D2: Beneath the Dome Himself Uncredited
2005 Science of Star Wars Himself
2009 Black to the Future Himself
2010 The Life of Bob Marley Bob Marley
2001 Maniacs: Behind the Screams Himself

Music[edit]

Year Title Songs
2010 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams "The South's Gonna Rise Again"
"Rot in Hell"
"Hey Hey Howdy Howdy Hey"
"Fun, Games and Feastin'"
"Building From the Ground Up"

Composer[edit]

Year Title Note
2008 This Can't Be My Life Episode: The Pink Pages (Theme song)

Director[edit]

Year Title Note
2008 This Can't Be My Life Short film
Episode: The Pink Pages

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Note
1999 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Jar Jar Binks (voice)
Star Wars: The Gungan Frontier
2000 Star Wars Episode I: Jedi Power Battles
2001 Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds
Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing
2005 Lego Star Wars: The Video Game Uncredited
2006 Scarface: The World Is Yours Unknown (voice) Uncredited
2007 Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga Jar Jar Binks (voice) Uncredited
2009 Ready 2 Rumble: Revolution Unknown Boxer (voice)
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 Cloak (voice)
2015 Disney Infinity 3.0 Jar Jar Binks (voice) [12]
2020 Fallout 76 Carver Timmerman
James Addison
Jide
Wastelanders expansion
2020 The Last of Us Part II Additional Voices

Producer[edit]

Year Title Note
2007 The DL Chronicles Episodes: Wes & Robert (executive producer)
Boo & Mark (co-executive producer)
2008 This Can't Be My Life Episode: The Pink Pages (co-producer)

Writer[edit]

Year Title Note
2008 This Can't Be My Life Short film
Episode: The Pink Pages

Theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Note
1995 Stomp Sarge Winner of Obie Award
1997 The Tempest Lead
2002 Uncle Tom's Cabin Lead
Jack Sammy
2003 Vacuums J. Buttersworth III

Discography[edit]

Song Note
"The Jazzhole" Co-wrote and co-produced
"And The Feeling Goes Around"
"The Beat is the Bomb"
"Secret"
"Falling Apart"
"Take Time"
"Mean What You Say"
"Sweet Child"
"I Wonder"
"Is It Worth"
"Dear James"
"It's the Jazz" on the album Vitality of Expression by Jeff Peretz
"Forms of the Rhythm"
Celebrity EP as DJ Starfaker

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Bio page at Best's official site". October 20, 2009. Archived from the original on October 20, 2009.
  2. ^ Newbold, Mark (January 5, 2019). "Ahmed Best: That Moment I Opened Up About Suicide". Fantha Tracks. Archived from the original on June 1, 2019. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  3. ^ Nordine, Michael (January 5, 2019). "Jar Jar Binks Actor Ahmed Best Opens Up About Racism-Fueled Backlash". IndieWire. Archived from the original on May 26, 2020. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  4. ^ "Star Wars actor: 'I considered suicide'". BBC News. July 4, 2018. Archived from the original on January 18, 2020.
  5. ^ Parker, Ryan. "Jar Jar Binks Actor Says He Considered Suicide After 'Star Wars' Backlash". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 11, 2020.
  6. ^ "This Can't Be My Life". IMDb. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge to debut on 3 June on Star Wars Kids". StarWars.com. Lucasfilm. 27 May 2020. Archived from the original on 27 May 2020. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  8. ^ Gemmill, Allie (27 May 2020). "The Force Is Strong With This Epic 'Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge' Trailer". Collider. Archived from the original on 27 May 2020. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Updated: Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge to debut on June 10 on Star Wars Kids". StarWars.com. Lucasfilm. Archived from the original on 4 June 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  10. ^ Laman, Douglas. "Star Wars Jedi Temple Challenge premiere delayed in light of protests". CBR.com. Archived from the original on 5 June 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  11. ^ Forward, Devon. "Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge Show Delays Premiere". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on 5 June 2020. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  12. ^ Avalanche Software. Disney Infinity 3.0. Scene: Closing credits, 5:39 in, Featuring the Voice Talents of.

External links[edit]