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Interview: Janet Jackson

The pop icon-turned actress, on her childhood aspirations and golf club use


Move over Mrs. Tiger Woods. Janet Jackson gives new meaning to the notion of golfing to let off a little marriage steam with her turn in Tyler’s Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too? Uncharacteristically shying away from nosy press questions during this interview—in contrast to her out of control character with anger management issues—Janet was up to confessing the healing powers to be had while recovering from the tragic loss of brother Michael by throwing herself into acting as an alternate identity.

Q: This movie is about the importance of marriage. And Tyler was saying how annoyed he is about how black love is portrayed on screen, “because it’s not.” So how did you get into that frame of mind?

JANET JACKSON: I’m really the wrong person to ask. I’ve been married twice and divorced twice, So…I don’t think I should be answering this question! Really…


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Q: You scream your way through a lot of this movie as a totally stressed out character. Was it hard getting into that whole rage thing?

JJ: It was very therapeutic and very cathartic for me to work out, or to do a lot of those scenes, with what I had been going through. Or what I had just recently gone through; the passing of my brother. So, to just be able to unleash in certain ways with certain scenes, as well as just to vent, when it came to that baseball bat. No, not the baseball bat—the golf club!

But just a few days ago, Tyler told me that I hit him with it. And I never knew it! But I did hit myself! Yeah, for the rest of the shooting schedule, my ankle was pretty bad. But it was very therapeutic for me.

And working with Tyler, he’s an actor’s director. So he knows what he wants. And you do a few takes, and that’s it. And you move on to the next scene.

Q: Any wardrobe malfunctions with all these beautiful clothes you women wear in the movie? Another actress said you were really down with the sisters, because you went and got all your dresses out of your closet and said, “pick one!” So they wanted to thank you.

JJ: And they’re very welcome. Any time…

Q: What’s going on with your music right now?

JJ: Um…nothing!

Q: What about the song you wrote for this movie?

JJ: I co-wrote and co-produced with Jermaine Dupri. It was released to radio just a few days ago. And it will be available on iTunes the 30th of March. It really was inspired by this film, and the characters in the film. I mean, one of the lines is, “You can have the password to my phone.” Which really stems from a character and her relationship. So yeah, it was inspired by the different characters in the film.

Q: So you’re not recording anything right now?

JJ: No, I’m not. Because I’ve been really concentrating on the acting. And they’ve been wanting to sit and talk with me about recording. But I haven’t told them what I want to do. So no, just for the film right now.

There was a time when I was actually in the studio and recording. And there have been a lot of record labels that have asked me to sit down and talk with them. But I haven’t decided exactly where I want to go, or what I want to do.

I don’t know right now if I want to do something completely independent, or go with a major. So I’ve just done this song for Tyler, and that’s it.

Q: Why are you switching it up for now, into acting rather than singing?

JJ: Because it’s more challenging for me. Singing is more a pleasure for me. That was my first love since I was a kid. You know, I wanted to go to college and study business law. And I wanted to support myself with acting. But then after that, I just really thought about acting.

Q: You were into being a bookworm back then?

JJ: Yeah! I wanted to go to Pepperdine University, like all my friends. But I never made it over there. Music has been very good to me. But acting is a place I feel that I belong, even though it’s a challenge for me. I love it!

Q: So you think that will be a permanent new direction for you?

JJ: No, I haven’t really thought about any directions in that way.

Q: There’s also a lot of eating going on the movie. What restaurants were your favorites in Atlanta, while you were filming?

JJ: Well for myself, I was really diving into my work. So it was about eating…in my trailer! And really focusing on the character, and trying to stay in character. And after, I was just so drained and so tired. And especially having to get up early the next morning, and do it all over again. So I really didn’t eat out. But I do have a favorite vegan restaurant.

Q: Where, in LA?

JJ: Hmm, where am I now? No, in New York! And there’s a restaurant called Veggieland in Atlanta, it’s very good.

Q: If there’s a third Why Did I Get Married sequel, where would you like to see the next married couples retreat?

JJ: In total honesty? I think it should be Europe! Yeah, that whole Mediterranean. Italy, Spain…And to just hang out there. Yeah!

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