J. Lee as John LaMarr
“The Orville” star J. Lee reached out to his friend and “Star Wars” actor Ahmed Best for advice as part of his preparation for his role on the Seth MacFarlane-created series. Fox/Noah Schutz

“The Orville” is a huge career leap for J. Lee. Aside from the fact that it is his first major onscreen acting project, the Fox series is also the actor’s first foray into the sci-fi genre. So as part for his preparation for the role of John LaMarr on the Seth MacFarlane-created series, Lee reached out to his friend and “Star Wars” actor Ahmed Best for advice.

“I called him when I got the role and asked him some questions about sci-fi and the world and the fans,” Lee said in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Lee revealed that Best — who did the motion capture and voice for Jar Jar Binks in the “Star Wars” franchise — told him to “ just have fun no matter what people say or think.” “Because some people loved Jar Jar and some people hated him. But he did his job,” Lee said.

As for what it’s like to transition from animation to live action, Lee told Rolling Out that the transition is “easy.” “If [the] scripts are good, it makes it much easier to act,” Lee said. “I would say it starts with the page, so I think it’s pretty easy.”

Despite being a newcomer to live action TV, Lee has managed to impress executive producer David A. Goodman. “J. Lee, who is really brand new to television, is a very unique actor in himself,” Goodman said in a separate interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s so much fun to watch him.”

On “The Orville,” Lee’s John is an engineer and the navigator of the titular spaceship. John was already part of the Orville crew when Ed (MacFarlane) was appointed as the new captain of the ship. When John first met Ed, Lee’s character sort of took him in and sized him up. But when Ed has proven how great of a captain he is, John has learned to respect him even more.

What do you think of Lee’s performance as John so far? Sound off in the comments section below!

An all-new episode of “The Orville” airs on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 9 p.m. EDT on Fox.