Well, this would have been interesting…
And in today’s ‘it would have been weird if that actually happened’ news, it turns out Michael Jackson very nearly played one of the most famous (and hated) characters in film.
The actor who played Jar Jar Binx in the Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, revealed in a VICE interview this week that he had a very icy encounter with the King of Pop after beating him out for the role he desperately wanted. The role of, um, this guy:
Ahmed Best (who doesn’t regret taking the role, just fyi) talked about the awkward night George Lucas introduced him to Jackson:
“That’s what George told me. Me, Natalie Portman, and George’s kids—we were at Wembley Arena at Michael Jackson’s concert. We were taken backstage and we met Michael. There was Michael and Lisa Marie [Presley]. George introduced me as ‘Jar Jar’ and I was like, ‘That’s kind of weird. Michael was like, ‘Oh. OK.’ I thought, ‘What is going on?’ After Michael had driven off, we all go back up to a big afterparty. I’m having a drink with George and I said, ‘Why did you introduce me as Jar Jar?’ He said, ‘Well, Michael wanted to do the part but he wanted to do it in prosthetics and makeup like ‘Thriller.’’ George wanted to do it in CGI. My guess is ultimately Michael Jackson would have been bigger than the movie, and I don’t think he wanted that.”
Well… As things turned out (you know, with the whole, ‘Jar Jar Binx ruined the entire iconic Star Wars franchise’ talk), it kind of seems like Jackson is the one who dodged a bullet.
But damn, Michael Jackson as Jar Jar would have been awesome (and bizarre) to see.