It was yet another bad PR move by Lindsay Lohan to blow off her Ellen appearance this week, but good news for the rest of us who weren't that interested in hearing about Lohan's "tasteful" Marilyn-inspired hooter shots anyway: Ellen replaced LiLo with Paris Jackson. As in the sleek-haired, gorgeous-eyed, surprisingly well-adjusted daughter of Michael Jackson.
Paris is just 13 years old, but she appears mature and poised in the promos for the show, which airs Thursday. Poor Lindsay, when you compare her coked-out, aged-before-her-time appearance to fresh-faced Paris's, it's almost like the two of them represent opposite endpoints on the young celebrity continuum. Paris: head on her shoulders, world as her oyster—Lindsay: feebly hawking over-Photoshopped nudie pics to pay her legal fees.
You'd think someone like Paris Jackson would be all kinds of messed up from what had to be a … well, an unusual childhood, let's say that, followed by losing her father in such a dramatic, public fashion. I wouldn't have been surprised if her early career trajectory had included a regrettable music video, paparazzi-captured images of her partying with Madonna's daughter Lourdes, and the inevitable launch of her signature fragrance, "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough."
Instead, Paris seems to be as normal as a kid can be when their dad was one of the most famous people in the world.
In fact, she claims that she lives a relatively typical lifestyle, thanks in no small part to MJ's attempts to protect her privacy when she was younger:
I'm treated the same. When I came to [my school], they didn't know who I was. I was like, yes, I have a chance to be normal.
It's only recently that anyone's really been able to recognize her, because, as you may remember, Michael used to cover his children’s faces with masks. It certainly seemed like a weird thing for him to do at the time (I mean, remember all those bizarre photos where the kids would be wearing something like this?), and Paris admits that it took her a while to appreciate his intent:
I'm like, This is stupid. 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.
Paris also discussed how Michael Jackson's performance in Moonwalker inspired her to go into acting (she has a role in the upcoming family fantasy movie Lundon's Bridge and the Three Keys), and she shared the most memorable piece of advice her father gave her:
He said, 'If I die tomorrow, always remember what I told you.' I took his advice and I remembered everything he told me.
Here's a peek at Paris sitting down to chat with Ellen:
She seems like a neat kid, doesn't she? I'll be interested to see where her career goes over the years—with such firsthand knowledge of how fame can negatively affect a person, it seems like she's in a unique position to avoid some of the pitfalls that young stars often stumble into. ( Ahem, Lindsay.)
Do you think Paris Jackson should keep avoiding the spotlight, or does she seem old enough to be doing media appearances now?
Image via Ellen