International Talk Like Jar Jar Binks Day

In a recent interview on Andy Cohen's SiriusXM radio show, Liam Neeson spent several minutes talking about his old castmate Ahmed Best and he had a lot of nice things to say about Jar Jar's actor. The topic of Ahmed Best came up when Neeson was asked by Cohen to defend The Phantom Menace.

Said Neeson on the show:

"I know a lot of fans and critics didn't like it, and my lovely friend Ahmed Best, who played Jar Jar Binks, came in for a lot of criticism, I mean to the point where it really hurt his career, and I have to say when I was making that film with Ahmed Best as Jar Jar Binks, and Ewan McGregor as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi, he was probably one of the funniest guys and talented guys I have ever worked with. I remember calling Ed Limato, god rest him, my old ex-agent of ICM, and saying 'Listen I think I've just worked with the new Eddie Murphy.' And I still believe that. Apparently, I was told that Ahmed went to one of those big Star Wars conventions, wherever it was, San Diego or somewhere like that, recently, within the past two years, and the crowds went wild, Ahmed was introduced, the crowds went wild, gave him a standing ovation. Ahmed was crying his eyes out. It was a beautiful thing to hear. I wasn't there. I was told this by a couple of people. It was beautiful."

Neeson then talks about how he's proud of the film, and how he got to be a Jedi and play with lightsabers, before bringing the discussion back to Ahmed. "But Ahmed Best truly is one of the funniest guys, he had all of us in stitches of laughter, including George Lucas. And then wham/bam the film comes out and he's attacked, personally attacked, by fans and critics for whatever reasons. But I like the movie, I'm proud of it."

This is hardly the first time that Neeson has praised Ahmed Best in such a fashion. He had a lot of similar things to say back when Episode I was first released. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Neeson said: "I really do think that Ahmed is a young Eddie Murphy. I just was aware of his discipline and the hard work he had to do, but he always did it with this incredible joy and spontaneity. I thought, ‘This guy’s something.’ When the film ended, I told everybody – my agents, everyone – ‘You’ve got to get this guy.'"

Still it's great to hear Neeson praising Ahmed Best again, all these years later. It's unclear if the two have seen each other or kept in touch since The Phantom Menace came out, but it would be great if the two could reunite on the screen in some manner or another. You might even say, it would be bombad.