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Paris Jackson gives rare interview, talks film role

Paris Jackson, 13-year-old daughter of Michael Jackson, sat down with Ellen DeGeneres to discuss wearing those surgical masks as a child, and her burgeoning acting career.
/ Source: Reuters

Michael Jackson's daughter Paris gave a rare televised interview this week, during which she discussed life with her late father and a budding acting career.

The 13-year-old's appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" has already been taped and airs on Thursday.

According to a partial transcript released to publicize the show, Paris said that as a younger child she felt it was "stupid" wearing a mask when she went out in public with her famous father.

Jackson, who died aged 50 in 2009, would sometimes give his children masks to wear to protect them from the frenzy of media and public attention that accompanied their every appearance.

"Yeah, I'm like, 'This is stupid, why am I wearing a mask?'" Paris told show host Ellen DeGeneres.

Click to see pictures from the highs and lows of Michael Jackson's career.

"But I kind of realized the older I got, like, he only tried to protect us and he'd explain that to us too."

Paris, one of Jackson's three children who are now in the care of their grandmother Katherine, has gradually emerged from her father's shadow in recent months, and the DeGeneres show was billed as Paris's first "solo" interview.

The teenager is set to appear in a movie called "Lundon's Bridge and the Three Keys" based on a young adult fantasy novel.

Asked when she realized that she wanted to act, Paris replied: "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. I saw that and I said, wow, I want to be just like him.

"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."

The movie's website, to which Paris's official Twitter page is linked, says she will star as Lundon O'Malley in a film combining live action and animation and which is described as "the war between the land and the sea."

It is based on a novel by Dennis Christen, and half the proceeds from the film and sales of the book will be donated to schools with insufficient funding.

There is no release date, although one of the production companies involved, Paralight Films, said on its website that "Lundon's Bridge" had been due to hit screens in 2010.

It listed the movie's production budget at $31 million and "prints and advertising" at $39 million.

Paris also said she was enjoying her time at school.

"I do have like a regular childhood," she said. "I mean, I'm treated the same. When I came to Buckley (School) they didn't know who I was. I was like, yes, I have a chance to be normal."