‘Book Of Eli’ Director Allen Hughes Calls Michael Jackson Incredible Actor Who Got ‘Too Weird And Freaky’

The Hughes brothers have a way of attracting top-notch Hollywood talent to their films: Johnny Depp in “From Hell,” Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman in the upcoming “Book of Eli.” At the top of their movie wish list, though, is one artist known far more for his music—and for his spectacularly sordid final days—than for his acting.

“This is going to sound strange, but Michael Jackson was an incredible actor and no one knew that,” Allen Hughes told MTV News.

“If you look at the nuances of ’The Wiz,’ when he played the Scarecrow. Or if you look at the short film Scorsese directed before ’Bad,’ where he’s going head to head with Wesley Snipes. The acting he was doing? Oh my god it was good. I know actors and he was an incredible actor.”

Let’s also not forget about the Francis Ford Coppola-directed, “Captain EO,” with its 3D amalgam of pop music and sci-fi genre tropes. As he made clear in his ghostwritten memoir, MJ himself always dreamed of a lasting and varied Hollywood career. That, of course, never happened.

“He got too weird and too freaky,” said Allen. “He just never got the chance because of who he was.”

The Hughes brothers, however, never got a chance to meet Jackson—and even if they had, by the early ’90s when their careers took off, the King of Pop was already fully ensconced in freakydom. A collaboration between them never had a shot. And if they weren’t going to work together—or at least run in the same social circle—Allen preferred not to meet MJ at all.

“I never wanted to meet Michael,” he explained. “Clint Eastwood is like a god to me. I don’t want to meet Clint Eastwood. We’ve done documentaries and box sets on him. If we’re at a dinner table together, that’d be lovely. But I don’t want to be introduced to Clint Eastwood. I’ve been in rooms with him and Scorsese, and I just stay away.”

Can you appreciate that desire to not meet a celebrity, to keep your opinions of an artist’s work untainted by learning about who they are as a person? Are you a fan of Michael Jackson’s acting work?