Michael Jackson loves watching “Sesame Street,” plans to make a movie with close friend Liza Minnelli, and says he will build a computer school on the grounds of his Neverland estate so his own kids won’t have to go “into society.”
In a rare interview, published on Thursday in TV Guide magazine to promote “Invincible” – his first album of original music in six years – Jackson also said he always felt awkward off stage and that some of his closest friends were celebrities who had also started out as child stars.
“People who grew up as child stars have the same thing in common. You’re cute, they love you; you go through the awkward stage, they don’t accept you any more. Very few make the transition to adult star,” Jackson, 43, said, talking of his friendships with Elizabeth Taylor and Liza Minnelli.
The interview was part of a public relations blitz – including an unprecedented in-store appearance in New York, a television special and a visit to open trading at the Nasdaq stock market – to promote the return of the reclusive “King of Pop” to a crowded pop music market.
Jackson’s son Prince, 4, and daughter Paris, 3, played at his feet during the interview and he said they traveled everywhere with him. He said Prince liked to tease and described Paris as “the tough one.”
LOVES ‘SESAME STREET’
Asked what he would do when they reached school age, he replied; “I’m going to build a computer school on the grounds (of Neverland)… How can they go into society? He’s Prince Michael Jackson. She’s Paris Katherine Michael Jackson. It would be too difficult.”
Jackson said his early start in showbusiness meant that he had never had a childhood. His taste in TV programs currently includes the animated dysfunctional family comedy “The Simpsons” and preschool show “Sesame Street.”
“I love ‘Sesame Street’. I could watch it for hours. But my favorite show is ‘Malcolm in the Middle’…mainly because he (Malcolm) tries to fit into society, and he doesn’t – like E.T. or Bambi, he can’t adjust to other people’s concepts.
“And I feel like that a lot of times. Once I’m offstage, I feel awkward, like this is not where I’m supposed to be,” Jackson added.
Jackson’s future plans include acting and directing in the movies, although to date his movie experience is restricted to a part in the 1978 musical “The Wiz.”
“I want to do a film with Liza Minnelli. We are planning a movie together. It’s about two struggling entertainers trying to make it; they get turned away everywhere they go. With some of the best dancing ever.
“I’m not joking because I see it, I feel it here,” Jackson added, pointing to his heart.
Jackson’s “Invincible” album received lukewarm reviews but climbed to the top of the music charts this week in the United States, Britain, Australia, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and several other European countries.