Yousa not going to believe this.
In an interview with Vice July 23, the actor who did al l the voice and motion capture for Jar Jar Binks admitted that he beat out Michael Jackson for the role.
While Amhed Best briefly touched on the subject during a Reddit AMA last year, he went into even greater depth for the extended profile.
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?
Really though, would you expect a conversation with the King of Pop to be anything less than super weird?
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.
If you need help imagining it, it might look a little something like this:
Best himself seems to have come to terms with his history as a character that has met with so much public hatred.
At the end of the day it is the movie business, and if the character doesn't work for the people who watch the movie then the character doesn't work. I can't take that personally. It's up to the filmmaker to make sure that not only does the film work for the filmmaker but it also works for the audience. So, because he wasn't fan favorite, I can understand why he was scaled back. And, narratively, they moved on to something else.
You can read the full interview, and some of Best's thoughts on Oscars for motion capture actors, here.