With Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace now in theaters in 3D, EW.com caught up with Jar Jar actor Ahmed Best for a lengthy, and quite interesting, interview. Best discusses landing the role, working on set, how he dealt with the Jar Jar backlash, and more. Check out the excerpt below and then make sure to click here for the full read.
'''It wasn't supposed to be me,'' Best says while scarfing down a post-jujitsu sandwich beside the fountain of an outdoor shopping mall. Best — who grew up in the South Bronx and Maplewood, N.J., the son of a Good Morning America cameraman — was discovered for Star Wars while performing in the still-running Off Broadway percussion show Stomp. However, he was not the first Stomper targeted for the part. ''It was supposed to be another guy in the show who had an audition before I did,'' says Best. The other guy didn't land the role, but invited Star Wars casting agent Robin Gurland to the show when it played in San Francisco. Ironically, the performance that got Best the Star Wars gig was one he was furious about doing. ''I was the lead,'' he explains, ''but then somebody got sick and I had to cover the role of the sick person and I wasn't very happy about it. There was really no discipline in my show that night. I was doing stuff that I never would have done had I not been young and upset. I took my shirt off, threw it in the audience — I mean, just really silly things. And that was the show that Robin was at.'''