Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace released in 1999, and the response has been fascinating–it received mixed reviews and a sour response from older fans, but is now looked back on with a mix of derision and nostalgia. Liam Neeson, who played Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn in the prequel, has now reflected back on the movie–and how one of its other stars was treated by fans.
Talking to SiriusXM show Radio Andy (as picked up on by IndieWire), Neeson talks about Ahmed Best, who played the controversial Jar Jar Binks in The Phantom Menace. Neeson recalls thinking that Best could be “the next Eddie Murphy,” and he was upset by how much criticism the actor drew.
“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,” Neeson says. “To the point where it really hurt his career.”