Paris Jackson: "I Want to Be Just Like" Michael

Composed and mature, the 13 year old makes her first solo appearance on Ellen and talks about growing up with Michael Jackson

Her dad lived his life in the spotlight, and now Paris Jackson, 13, is stepping into it herself. Michael Jackson's attractive, teen daughter has given her first interview apart from her family to Ellen DeGeneres. (Michael also has two sons, Prince, 14 and Blanket, 9.) On the episode of Ellen that will air on Thursday (times and channel vary according to location), Paris references her first movie role. She plays the heroine in the live-action animated filmLundon’s Bridge and the Three Keys, which is scheduled for a 2013 release. Here's a short teaser for today's show:

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After years of keeping a low profile under her father's protective care, why step into acting now? "My dad was in the movie Moonwalker, and I knew he could sing really well but I didn't know he could act," she explains. "I saw that and I said, 'Wow, I want to be just like him.'" The King of Pop was clearly aware of his daughter's aspirations; she recalls times when they did improv acting together. "He would give us little scenarios," she says. "He would say, 'OK, in this scene, you're going to cry,' and I'd cry on the spot."

She also gives some insight into what it was like growing up with her extremely famous and eccentric father. Take, for instance, Michael's perverse insistence on putting shawls or blankets over his kids' heads in public. (They later upgraded to masks.) 

Did Michael realize that his own, worldwide fame at a young age may have damaged him? Was he merely trying to spare his children that same fate? Probably, and Paris confirms this -- though she admits that she resisted the head and face coverings at first. "I'm like, 'This is stupid,'" she says. "'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."

Like him, she longs to fit in. And so far, so good. "When I came to [school], they didn't know who I was," she says. "I was like, yes, I have a chance to be normal." Hopefully, the people around her will continue to provide such chances.

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