THE BECK/SMITH VAULT: Michael Jackson Over His Doubts About ‘Chorus Line’ Female Impersonator Role

Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall" album cover

Michael Jackson's "Off the Wall" album cover

Michael Jackson Over His Doubts About ‘Chorus Line’ Female Impersonator Role

June 18, 1979

By Marilyn Beck

Those musical stars, The Jacksons, head to the recording studios next month to cut an LP, “which will be much better, much more creative than ‘Destiny,‘” says Michael Jackson.  “We’ve learned a lot since we made that.”

Michael doesn’t want to put the rap on the “Destiny” disc – which has already turned platinum.  But he explains, “We didn’t have a chance to be as creative on it as we would have liked. We were rushed. We were pressured.  It was the first album we wrote – and we had to prove to the Epic people we could write, had to rehearse all the songs for them.  Now the pressure is off.  We don’t have to prove anything anymore.”

Michael also has a solo album coming out this month which was produced by Quincy Jones and features three original songs by Jackson, plus tunes especially penned for him by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.

And he’s set to star in the film translation of “A Chorus Line” – playing the dancer who got his start as a female impersonator.

The last time we chatted, he said he wasn’t sure if he would accept the role, explaining with candor, “If I do it, people will link me with the part.  Because of my voice, some people already think I’m that way – homo.  Though I’m actually not at all.”

Now he reports his reservations about the portrayal have been swept away.

Says the Jackson brother who made his acting debut in “The Wiz,” “I saw ‘Chorus Line’ again with director Sidney Lumet (who’ll be helming the Universal film) and I love the part.  It’s dramatic, emotional – and if you have any feelings at all, it has to touch you.”