Paris Jackson will give her first-ever solo interview on Thursday morning (December 15) when she appears on “The Ellen DeGenres Show” to promote her upcoming acting debut. After a cloistered childhood, Paris, 13, the only daughter of late pop icon Michael Jackson, opened up to Ellen about her formerly sheltered life and how her dad’s music inspired her acting.
In excerpts released before the airing, Paris explained that her dad helped her prepare for her upcoming first movie role, in which she’ll play Lundon in “Lundon’s Bridge and the Three Keys,” an adaptation of the fantasy series based on writer Dennis Christen’s novels.
“When I was really little my dad was in the movie ’Moonwalker’ and I knew he could sing really well but I didn’t know he could act,” she said. “I saw that and I said, ’Wow, I want to be just like him.’ ” She said Michael also gave her at-home acting lessons. “We would do improv together. He would give us little scenarios. He would (say), ’OK, in this scene you’re going to cry’ and I’d cry on the spot.”
In one of the most (literally) revealing moments, Paris explained what it felt like for herself and her siblings, Prince and Blanket, to wear disguises for most of their young lives. “I’m like, ’This is stupid. Why am I wearing a mask?’ But I kind of realized the older I got like he only tried to protect us and he’d explain that to us too,” she said. The masks, in fact, helped the three kids live as normal a life as they possibly could considering that their dad was one of the most-sought-after paparazzi targets on earth. “I do have like a regular childhood,” she said. “I mean, I’m treated the same. When I came to [my new school] they didn’t know who I was. I was like, ’Yes, I have a chance to be normal.'”
When asked if she realized how big a deal her dad was when she was a child, Paris admitted, “I just thought, ’He’s got a few songs out,’ but I figured everyone did that.”
In the action-animation hybrid “Lundon,” Paris will voice the lead character, a human, in a fantasy adventure in which “sea magic turns a dolphin into a human, a teenage boy into a dragonfly and a loving jellyfish queen into an evil fairy godmother.” Among the other voices in the movie are former CNN personality Larry King and his wife, Shawn, and ex ’NSYNC member Joey Fatone.
Paris told DeGeneres that her dad warned her before his surprise death in June 2009 that he would not be around forever. “He said, ’If I die tomorrow always remember what I told you.’ I took his advice and I remembered everything he told me,” she said.