Since their heart-wrenching appearance at Michael Jackson’s funeral in 2009, the King of Pop’s three children have largely remained out of the media glare.
Now, almost four years later, one of the music icon’s sons has decided to step into the spotlight. Prince Michael Jackson, 16 — older brother to Paris, 14, and Blanket, 10 — has signed on to be a guest correspondent for the daily celebrity news show “Entertainment Tonight.” His first assignment, interviewing the director and stars of the upcoming film “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” will air in segments on the program throughout the remainder of the week.
Jackson got the gig in part due to Brooke Anderson, one of “ET’s” correspondents. The television host said she and the teenager shared a “mutual connection,” and she has been itching to do something with Jackson since she met him.
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“I thought him interviewing people from ‘Oz’ would be great because his dad was in ‘The Wiz,’ he’s a fan of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and he wants to get into producing and directing,” Anderson said in a phone interview Monday evening. The timing also worked out well for the high school student, who did filming over the long holiday weekend when classes were not in session.
To help him prepare for the joint interview with director Sam Raimi and actors James Franco and Zach Braff, Anderson said she sat with Jackson and went over potential questions. She also gave him some tips on how to stay relaxed in front of the camera and even did some push-ups with him to eliminate any tension.
“He really did not need that much coaching. This may sound strange because he’s 16, but he was very smooth and confident,” Anderson said.
During the interview, Anderson said all three of the stars were aware of who Jackson was but did not turn the tables and ask him about his father.
“Zach said, ‘Is this really your first interview?’ ” Anderson recalled. “He created a really great energy, and they were all surprised by how knowledgeable he was about the film industry. He knew technical 3-D terms that I had no idea about."
Though Jackson does not yet have a permanent gig with "Entertainment Tonight," Anderson is hopeful he'll return on a "case-by-case" basis for kid-themed show business events, like the upcoming Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.
"The fact that he's the King of Pop's son may crack the door open for him, but he has a wisdom about him," she said. "He said, 'I owe that all to my dad.' "
A clip promoting Jackson's appearance follows.