Actor Ahmed Best is opening up about his struggles with thoughts of suicide.
The actor who played Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars prequel films tweeted about his struggles Tuesday, saying in part: “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.”
Best goes on to say his son is his “gift for survival”.
While Best did not mention Star Wars or Jar Jar Binks directly, the anniversary he mentions is for 1999, which is the year “The Phantom Menace” released. The clumsy Gungan who Best portrayed in the film was widely panned by fans and critics.
Best received an outpouring of support in the wake of his tweet. Among his well-wishers was Frank Oz, the puppeteer who voiced Yoda and brought the character to life.
“I LOVED Jar Jar Binks,” Oz wrote. “I know I’ll get raked over the coals for saying that but I just will never understand the harshness of people’s dislike of him”.
Oz also reached out to Best directly in a tweet.
Best thanked Oz for his support and also sent a more general thank you July 4:
“Thank you all for your love and kindness,” Best wrote. “Its been overwhelming. I’m gonna start writing this show. Gonna need help cause I’ve never done this before. I will be trying stuff out and posting it here. Let folks know. Thanks for all your support. It means so very much to me.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK. Utahns can also visit Hope4Utah and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center for additional resources. You can also download the SafeUT app for instant, confidential crisis services.