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CNN Larry King Live

Interview with Janet Jackson

Aired November 04, 2010 - 21:00   ET



LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight Janet Jackson is here with a new look.

JANET JACKSON, SINGER: Shedding all the old skin.

KING: A new book and a challenging new film role.

JACKSON: If you called to say you're sorry, call somebody else.

KING: Has she abandoned singing for acting?

JACKSON: I'm finally getting around to doing something that I've wanted to do since I was a kid.

KING: Janet Jackson for the hour next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: Janet Jackson returns to LARRY KING LIVE. Miss Jackson, if you're nasty.


KING: Hey, a little hit there. She's a Grammy winning singer, author of a forthcoming book "True You". Her new movie is "For Colored Girl." She stars in the Tyler Perry film which opens in theaters tomorrow November 5th. It's her third collaboration with Perry. Watch.


LORETTA DEVINE, ACTRESS: Get this. Just last week, my ex-old man comes in saying, baby, I don't know how she got your number, I'm sorry.

THANDIE NEWTON, ACTRESS: No, no this is it. Oh, baby, you know I was high, I'm sorry.

KERRY WASHINGTON, ACTRESS: I'm only human, if we were perfect, we wouldn't have nothing to strive for, so you might as well go on and forgive me because I'm sorry.

PHYLICIA RASHAD, ACTRESS: This one is it. I do you like I do you because I thought you could take it? No? I'm sorry. JACKSON: Now I know you know I love you, but I ain't going to love you the way you want me to love you. Sorry.


KING: That opens tomorrow. "For Colored Girls." How did this move come about for you?

JACKSON: Let me so (INAUDIBLE). I heard that giggle that you just did.

KING: You like my giggle? It's kind of a turn on, huh?


JACKSON: You got a lot of nerve. How did this come about for me?

KING: Yes.

JACKSON: When I was shooting "Why Did I Get Married 2," we were at the tail end of shooting it, and there was a production of "For Colored Girls" in Atlanta and Tyler wanted me to see the play with him.

We went to the play and I really enjoyed it, and he said you know they want me -- they've asked me to direct and write this for the big screen. I said oh, that's awesome, are you going to do it? And he said I'm thinking about it.

He said so -- I brought you because I am thinking of -- I would like for you to be a part of this. I said, oh, this is why we came. He goes, why else did you think I brought you to see this play with me? I said I thought, oh, two friends, hanging out having a good time. So that's how it actually came about.

KING: He's a great guy, by the way.

JACKSON: He's wonderful.

KING: Fun to work with.


KING: By the way, Janet Jackson has a hit album out called "The Best Of." You can get that anywhere.

You play Jo. Tell me about her?

JACKSON: Jo. Joanna Bradmore. She runs her all fashion mag. She's very, very -- a very successful woman. She comes from the ghetto with the rest of the girls. Reside -- she has worked really hard to make her way out of that. She's very shrewd.

KING: She's the most successful of the group? JACKSON: She's -- yes, she is the successful one and will do anything to stay away from that life. She wants no part of it whatsoever. She's really shrewd bold. Her color is red. She's very fierce. She has no room for niceties. She's a kind of a bitch.

KING: Do you like her or not like her?

JACKSON: I like her very much.

KING: Is this a comedy?


KING: Not at all?

JACKSON: It's -- everyone's been talking about how intense it is.

KING: When you saw the play.


KING: Did you think of yourself as Jo?

JACKSON: No, I was just enjoying watching these women in this play who did an incredible job. And Jasmine Guy who actually had directed the play, the production that I saw.

No, I didn't at all. I didn't see my --

KING: So when he said he wanted you for it, did you think Jo would be the part?

JACKSON: Well, I didn't know what he -- what part he wanted me to play. So when he actually called me up and said that the script is coming along and told me a little bit about my character, I thought this is really interesting.

This is really different from anything that I have ever done. And I thought, well, this is going to be a challenge. And when I actually read the script, I thought, wow, this is really cool. So I was up for the challenge.

KING: What was it like doing it?

JACKSON: I loved it. It was -- it was intense. It was very, very, very intense on a daily basis. Like I said, she's no BS, she has no room for niceties. So every single day of shooting was tough.

It was really tough and especially what she's going through with her husband, her home life and as well as her relationship with herself.

KING: It's interesting because you were born Janet Demeta Jo Jackson. Right? So now you're Jo again? JACKSON: Yes. Actually her original name in the script, Tyler called her Carmen. And I wanted to change her name to Jo. I thought Carmen was a little too sweet and her full name, Joanna, which is softer but just to call her Jo, that toughness, that little toughness.

KING: When you said you're red in this, what do you mean you're red?

JACKSON: Each woman has a color. "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf." Each woman has a color that represents their personality, their character.

My color happens to be red which, you know, gives a little bit of insight of -- to who I am, what I'm like. There's another woman, Loretta Devine, she's -- her color is green. Anika Noni Rose. All the women are wonderful. Absolutely wonderful in this film. She's yellow. So every woman has their color that represents to a certain degree who they are.

KING: What's Tyler Perry like to work for? He's a great guest.

JACKSON: You've had him on your show, yes.

KING: Yes.

JACKSON: He's wonderful. I enjoy working with Tyler. It's -- there's a sense of family, that togetherness, that bond, that closeness, which I love coming from a big family. His sets are always fun, always very enjoyable. Even though with this, it was a little different, because it was so intense on a daily basis. But still I enjoyed being there every single day coming to work.

KING: How do you think it will do commercially?

JACKSON: Well, I hope. And --

KING: But it's getting great word about it.

JACKSON: I -- yes. It is -- it's getting a great word of mouth. And I hope it does well. I think it will do well. I think this movie is not just for colored -- women of color, it's for all women. All walks of life.

I think you will find, as a woman, a part of yourself or someone you used to be or someone you know in one of these women. There's a couple of women that I see the old me in.

KING: How about men, will men like it?

JACKSON: I think they will for sure. I think there's a lot for them to learn. It's not just about women, it's about their relationships. Whether it's their husbands, boyfriends, men that they're --

KING: Semi-involved with. JACKSON: Exactly. There's a lot. It's really a great story in the way Tyler has infused his words with Ntozake Shange, the poet, with her work, because this was an award winning Broadway play back in the '70s.

KING: Janet Jackson is our special guest. The movie opens tomorrow. It's titled "For Colored Girls." Janet -- we'll ask her about singing, too. Don't go away.


KING: Let's take another look at Janet Jackson in the new film which opens tomorrow "For Colored Girls."



JACKSON: Save your sorry. One thing I don't need are anymore apologies. You're always being inconsistent, beating my heart to death talking about you're sorry. You know I'm going to put a sign, a sign on the door -- better yet I'm going to leave a voicemail, a message on my voicemail. If you called to say you're sorry, then call somebody else. I have had sorry greet me at the front door. You could keep yours.


KING: Heavy.

JACKSON: It's a really intense film. And Omari Hardwick plays my husband. He's wonderful in this film.

KING: Kerry Washington is in it. Phylicia Rashad is in it. Our friend Whoopi Goldberg. Thandie Newton. But you said you didn't interact with them a lot. Off the set.

JACKSON: It's great.

KING: Why not?

JACKSON: Staying in character. Wanting to --

KING: You do? You did that?

JACKSON: Yes. Really wanting to stay in character, during the duration, every moment even when he said cut of filming. And like I said, she wants nothing to do with the ghetto.

KING: With the rift-raft.

JACKSON: And her past life. She worked too hard to get out of that. And keeping these walls up. So I would hear the girls in there cackling and talking and part of me wanted to be a part of that. But to remain true to the character, I stayed away.

KING: So when you stay in character -- many great actors have told me they do that -- did you also bring it home?

JACKSON: There are times when you do. You don't just walk away from it. There were times when my friends would say, there's something different about you, the tone in your voice. And Tyler actually wanted to play it with my tone imposed and make it a little lower tone.

And I told him, let me try it, let me try it first on my own and see what happens. And so he liked what I did so he just left it at that.

KING: You like acting?

JACKSON: I love it.

KING: Why?

JACKSON: This is my first passion. This is my --

KING: More than singing?

JACKSON: This is what I signed up to do when I was a kid. This is my first job. When I was 10 years old. Singing was my second job.

KING: And dancing as you know was third. You know we were a great couple.

JACKSON: Yes. Yes. We have got our moves.


KING: But acting is first?

JACKSON: Well, this is what I did. This is what I originally did. And this is what I just knew for sure I wanted to grow up and go to school, study business law, study acting and become an actress.

KING: So what veered off? How did the singing come?

JACKSON: My father.


KING: Yes?

JACKSON: Yes. And it's, you know, the family business. He told me that he wanted me to sing.

KING: So he said it and you had to do it?

JACKSON: Kind of. For the most part, yes. And it's been -- I'm not complaining, it's been wonderful for me and I really enjoyed. I love performing. And --

KING: You still sing? JACKSON: Yes. And it's in my blood but this is -- I'm finally getting around to doing something that I've wanted to do since I was a kid, making films.

KING: So you want to do more of this?

JACKSON: Of course, I'm going to.

KING: Would you like to do a play?

JACKSON: I would love to do that. That's always -- that's been another dream of mine, to do a Broadway play. An award winning Broadway play.

KING: Are you still touring?

JACKSON: At the moment, no. I may do a little private thing here, a little private thing there, but as of going on a tour, no.

KING: What about with your brothers?


KING: Your sister?


KING: So Janet goes it her own way? Can I say that?

JACKSON: I guess so.

KING: All right, in a recent "Jet" magazine article, you said that in the past, you have not had a lot of friends. Is that a correct quote?

JACKSON: I don't have a lot of friends.

KING: Why?

JACKSON: It's not easy in this industry. And I'm glad I don't have a lot of friends.

KING: Is it a trust issue?

JACKSON: Yes. It's very much a trust issue. I'm happy with the people that I have around me. And they've been friends of mine since I was young, for a very long time.

KING: So new people don't come into Janet Jackson's life easily?

JACKSON: Not really. It's definitely a trust issue for myself.

KING: We'll be back with more. Janet has got a new book coming, too. We'll talk about that just ahead.


RASHAD: It ain't just sex, honey, it all has a root. And you got to find that root to pluck it.

NEWTON: Damn you, listening to all my business through this wall.

RASHAD: I used to be you.


KING: We're back with Janet Jackson. "For Colors Girls" opens, as they say, wide tomorrow. Major Broadway hit. Could be a major vehicle as a film as well.

With all your talents, your achievements, your celebrity, the fact that it's hard for you to make few friends, do you think you intimidate people?

JACKSON: You know there's a line in the song "All For You" that talks about intimidation. And when I was at the time dating guys, really not -- wanting to approach me but not approaching me, and me inviting them to approach me. But it's that intimidation that will always get in the way. And I've been told that.

KING: Do you date now?

JACKSON: I'm actually seeing someone.

KING: Can you tell us about it?



JACKSON: He's a very private man. So I respect --

KING: We respect that, too. Only -- I only will ask, is he in the business?


KING: Does that make it easier? The fact that he's not?

JACKSON: Easier?

KING: Well, by the fact that you're not clashing --

JACKSON: I am enjoying the fact that he's not in the business. But I don't know if it makes things easier.

KING: OK. Going back to music, some of your fans -- and we've covered this -- has asked me today, in fact, have you abandoned music?

JACKSON: No. Not at all. KING: So straighten this out. You will sing?

JACKSON: Yes. Just because I've made two films back to back, it's seems like I said before it's always been a dream of mine to do something like this, so I kind of put music on the back burner to do this. And I will continue to do more films.

But definitely, I can't give up music, it's in my blood. And I love, love, love performing. So I will make more music.

I think I have thought to go into the studio and just take my time, fool around, next year.

KING: How about a musical film?

JACKSON: I would love to do that.

KING: Combine both.

JACKSON: I would love to do that. There's a lot of things that I want to do and that I'm going to do.

KING: All right. I bet when you saw "Dream Girls," you would have thought I could have played in that.

JACKSON: I enjoyed that a great deal. I did see that. Never saw it on Broadway. But yes, I saw the film.

KING: OK. You've written a book. Called "True You." It's due out in January.


KING: The title, explain that.

JACKSON: "True You." People have asked me about the weight loss, the weight gain, the workout regimen, the nutrition and instead of writing just about that, I wanted to take it to the very beginning of what may have brought all of that on. So that took me back to my childhood and I had self esteem issues.

And it's not an auto biography, but there are anecdotes, little anecdotes throughout my life beginning from my childhood up until now and it allows you to see what may have caused, telling my little stories.

You know, my dream is to really not appeal to adults, but to appeal to children as well as teens and hopefully they will relate to one of my stories or I have stories as well of fans that have written to me. So I have put some of those stories in. And hopefully they can relate to one of those stories and it'll be able to help them in some way.

KING: It's designed as a kind of help people book?

JACKSON: It's a self-help book so it's about being who you are and learning to love yourself as you are. 'The True You."

KING: You had an early weight problem?

JACKSON: Yes, I did. It was a body image issue. I was so self- conscious at a very --

KING: So when you look to the mirror, you didn't like yourself?

JACKSON: And I was told certain things that I'm too this, I'm too that. I should be more like this, more like that. At a very, very young age. When I did "Good Times," I was just 10 years old. And they never discussed with me ahead of time.

But I remember my first episode. One of the wardrobe women, she bound my chest because I was developing at a very young age and they thought, you know, I was a guess a little too big for my age.

So that immediately translated to me that I wasn't good enough. The way that I was. So it was little things like that that really affect a child.

KING: Did you have it all through your teenaged years?

JACKSON: For sure. For sure. I did until -- you know I was the kind of person that internalized everything. I held everything in. And it wasn't until I opened up and spoke to someone who I really felt that I could communicate with who would not judge me, who I could truly trust, that my life began to change, and that was much later on in my life.

KING: Was a doctor?

JACKSON: No. He -- I -- he wants to remain anonymous. But I've spoken about him before. He's -- I call him a cowboy. He is actually a cowboy.

KING: Still in your life?

JACKSON: Yes. We still talk.

KING: Janet is involved also in the new anti-bullying campaign. She'll tell us why she supports the cause. Stick around, don't go away.



JACKSON: Tell me the truth, Carl. Who have you been sleeping with?

HARDWICK: You have no idea how much I hate coming up into this house sometimes.

JACKSON: You're saying a lot, Carl. You're saying a lot without saying nothing at all. (END OF VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Janet Jackson, what a performer. What a star. Her new movie "For Colored Girls" opens tomorrow all across the United States. Her book will be out in January. Lots of things happening as always in her life. There's always something happening in Janet Jackson's life.

How do you feel about your body now, by the way, when you look in the mirror? Are you happy with Janet?

JACKSON: I'm the happiest I've actually ever been in my life at this very moment. And I still have my days. I'm a work in progress. I still have my days where -- they're not the greatest and I have my moments of -- where I feel really, really good. So it's still a work in progress for me.

KING: You don't feel overweight, though, do you?

JACKSON: No, I don't, but I can definitely tighten things up, for sure.

KING: You described your new short hairstyle as liberating. I like it, but why is it liberating?

JACKSON: It was just like shedding all the old skin. It's not the first time I have cut all of my hair off. I have done it several times before. But it's the first time that I've done it since the whole Internet craze so everyone made a big to-do really about me cutting my hair. But it was liberating. It was freeing. And it's easy.

KING: You did it yourself? No one said do it?

JACKSON: Did somebody tell you to do it? No, I've been wanting to do it for a while. I always get bored with my hair. That's why I would always change it throughout my career. And I guess people thought it's just for this project that I've had. It was really me being bored. When I was a kid, I would get bored with my hair and I'd walk around with pink hair one moment then blue hair another moment.

KING: You are an interesting person.

JACKSON: Just being a kid.

KING: Would you say of all the Jacksons, you're the most complicated?

JACKSON: The most rebellious. Myself and my brother Randy.


JACKSON: The babies of the family.

KING: The two babies?


KING: Are the most rebellious?

JACKSON: I would say so.

KING: Does the family accept this? Your dad and your mom? They all accept this? The brothers?

JACKSON: They're so tired.

KING: What?

JACKSON: To the point -- you have nine kids, by the time the babies come around, it's like go ahead.

KING: Is it true you were very honest in the book?


KING: Was that hard sometimes to write?

JACKSON: There were a lot of things that I actually had dealt with already, and I thought, OK.

KING: Let it out?

JACKSON: I'm over that. Like, you know, it's easy to talk about. It's easy to write about, but when I started to write about certain things that I hadn't spoken about in a while, feelings started to resurface and I said to myself, oh, there's still something there that is connecting very deeply with me and emotions started to flow a little bit. So it was very therapeutic.

KING: It's catharsis.


KING: Do you keep a diary?


KING: Personal journal, no?

JACKSON: No, my albums have been my diaries.

KING: We know that in the world of show business sometimes too much too soon has a long lasting affect. And a lot of kid stars are never heard from again. How do you think you avoided that? Because you got a lot of attention as a kid. It's got to play something with your head.

JACKSON: I was really, really fortunate. I think it has a lot to do with who you surround yourself with, your upbringing, how grounded your parents make sure you continue to be or are from day one, and continuing that all the way up into your adult hood. And that goes a long way. And your faith in God, having that as a foundation as well, I think all of that is the reason why I didn't get into any drama. And I'm thankful. I'm very fortunate.

KING: Were you ever tempted?


KING: Never did? Never got into that scene?


KING: More with Miss Jackson after this.



JACKSON: Maybe you shouldn't drink tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You saying I got a problem?

JACKSON: I'm saying you need to take your meds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now you're telling me what I should do?

JACKSON: I'm not telling you what to think. I'm not accusing you of anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm trying. I'm trying, Chris.

JACKSON: I know.


KING: All right, tell me about the It Gets Better campaign, which I understand supporting gay youth.

JACKSON: The Trevor Project.

KING: What got you involved?

JACKSON: You know, I first heard about the Trevor Project years ago from a makeup artist who became a wonderful friend of mine. He's no longer around me. Rest in peace, Kevin Quant (ph). And he supported them. And he would always talk to me about this organization. I wanted to get involved.

Being one of those kids who could truly relate, holding everything inside, like I was telling you, internalizing everything. And that really can affect you, and feeling helpless and hopeless, and finding that person that you can trust, that adult, like I did later on in life, that I felt comfortable and safe to tell my issues, my worries, my pains, my aches to.

This is what the Trevor Project is really all about. And they have a 24-hour hotline.

KING: It's for bullying, right?

JACKSON: Yes. For the -- definitely, especially with what's been going on just recently, what has happened. It's sad. They have a 24-hour hotline. The number is 866-For-You-Trevor. And they have a website, And there's someone there that you can speak with 24 hours that will be there for you.

KING: We did a whole program about bullying, about the Trevor Project. I know you have studied it. You've looked into it. Were you ever bullied?


KING: Do you understand why people bully?

JACKSON: I think it really says more about themselves, how they feel about themselves. There's something about themselves, I feel, that doesn't set right, something -- whether they hate, they dislike, something that may be going on, issues at home with their parents. Who knows what it is? But it's something going on inside of them. And I think it's them lashing out.

KING: One can only -- it must be terrible to have a -- to be gay and hold it in, be afraid.

JACKSON: Not be able to be true you.

KING: Yeah.

JACKSON: No, really. To be proud of who you are. Everyone should be. You should never hide your true self.

KING: But it comes from teaching, doesn't it? We're taught to hate.

JACKSON: Yes, we're not born that way. And that's so unfortunate, that adults teach us to hate. It's sad.

KING: That's the Trevor Project, right?

JACKSON: Yes, the Trevor Project.

KING: Give me the number again.

JACKSON: It's 866-For-You-Trevor. A 24-hour hotline, there will always be someone for you to talk to.

KING: You're being bullied --

JACKSON: Yes, someone to just open up and tell just everything you can pour out to.

KING: By the way, if you're a bully, or if you have those tendencies, you can call too? JACKSON: Yes, of course.

KING: They'll try to help you in every way.

JACKSON: Of course.

KING: You have a greatest hits CD out called "Janet Jackson Number One Icon." How do you feel about that title? It's a little self-crediting, isn't it?

Did you title that album?

JACKSON: No, I didn't title it. No, I didn't title that. There was one before this that was just called "Janet Jackson Number Ones," and it had 33 of -- all 33 number ones, and the new single, a bonus track, that wound up becoming a number one. So it was 34 in all.

KING: You have had 34 number ones?


KING: Thirty four number ones?


KING: We'll be back with Janet Jackson, who on this show, I predict tonight, will make it. Remember the name. Don't go away.


KING: One of the number one hits on "Janet Jackson Icon" is "Nothing." It's from Tyler Perry's film "Why Did I Get Married II," in which she starred. Watch.




KING: There's talk that could be Oscar?

JACKSON: It would be nice.

KING: Would you sing it on the Awards show?

JACKSON: I don't think they do that anymore.

KING: No, they don't. That's right. They don't do the songs. You wrote that song.

JACKSON: I wrote that with Jermaine Dupri, yes.

KING: When -- does writing come easily to you?

JACKSON: For the most part, yes. It's so funny, because I remember when I was a kid -- I started writing when I was nine years old. I wrote my very first song when I was nine.

KING: What was the song?

JACKSON: "Fantasy" is the title. I remember being a kid and my brother Randy, my brother Mike and myself, we have our chores to do after dinner, especially, I remember one night in particular, I was doing dishes, I think Mike was sweeping the floor. And Randy was cleaning off the tables and all the counter tops. And that's how we would always create music. We could come up with melodies and then we would add lyrics to them. And we would sing a three part harmony. We were very young. But it's good practice.

KING: Where did this new song come from?

JACKSON: "Nothing?"

KING: Yes.

JACKSON: From the movie. I had ask Tyler if he had a theme song for the movie and he said no. I told him I would love to give it a go, if he wouldn't mind. I viewed the movie twice with Jermaine. And then Jermaine and I just went into his studio and we created this and presented it to Tyler. I didn't know if he would like it or not. I was hoping he would.

And he loved it. So it was really from the characters in the film.

KING: It fits the film?

JACKSON: Perfectly.

KING: Because sometimes you'll see songs that don't even pay attention to the film.

JACKSON: No, this was written for the film and watching those characters.

KING: We're not going to dwell on this, because it is too much a part of a sad past. But you said you that you learned of Michael's death while you were filming in Atlanta for Tyler Perry's other movie "Why Did I Get Married II." You said focused on work, and work helped you through grief. How?

JACKSON: Actually, I -- they were already shooting. I hadn't started shooting just yet. But I was supposed to start in a few days. And I was at home in New York when I learned of my brother's passing.

KING: How did you learn?

JACKSON: I got a call and there was something on TV, on CNN.

KING: You never get through that.

JACKSON: No. KING: You said in a recent interview, you spent a lot of time feeling lonely, even when you have people around you all the time. Can you explain that? Lonely in a crowd?

JACKSON: Yes, that is -- that was the worst for me. There's nothing worse than being lonely and having people around you, especially people that you love, people that you need to be involved with. It was very, very sad for me. And I'm not going to say anything more about that, Larry, than that.

KING: No, I don't want to -- you work hard, though, don't you? You're working like all the time?

JACKSON: I enjoy working. I love to work. I love to keep busy. Don't get me wrong, I love my little down time too. I love being on an island and a get away, or being with my family, or being with that person that I spend my life with and just relaxing by an ocean, by the beach.

KING: Do you miss marriage? You were married once?

JACKSON: I was married twice.

KING: Twice. Do you miss it?

JACKSON: Are you getting around to something? Is there something you want to ask me?


JACKSON: You trying to propose. No, I'm just joking.

KING: Not again? You have heard Janet admit to being a work in progress. We're going to ask her what's next. What could be next? Stay with us.



KING: OK, what's next? You said you would like to do a Broadway thing.

JACKSON: Yes, I would for sure. And I'm eventually going to, because, like I said, that's always been a dream of mine since I was a kid. When I'm that attached, that passionate about something, I don't let go of it. It might be a minute before I get to it. But I don't let go of it.

KING: I would imagine since many people in the Broadway business watch this show, that would be intriguing to them too. Do you think you would like doing matinees and evenings and eight shows a week?

JACKSON: You know, a friend of mine was on Broadway and he told me that. He said it's very --

KING: Wednesday matinee.

JACKSON: He said it's grueling. He said it's a whole other discipline. And that's what --

KING: Attracted you.

JACKSON: Yes, that whole other discipline, my brain went ding, ding, ding; what's that like? I want to experience that, see what that's about. It just seems like it would be just so much fun to be able to perform on a daily basis. That's a whole other grind that I have never experienced, but someday I will.

KING: Because when you do a movie, it's stop and go, right?


KING: What music do you listen to?

JACKSON: All kinds. My favorite is -- what I grew up on was jazz and Brazilian. That was my love.

KING: Bossa Nova?

JACKSON: Yes. Maria -- Maria Bethania, Ky Televaloso (ph).

KING: Paula Shovey (ph)?

JACKSON: Yes, Jiberta Gile (ph). Nasamento (ph)

KING: Anthony Hepbare (ph).

JACKSON: Yes. You say -- you're --

KING: "The Girl from Ipanema"?

JACKSON: I love that, Astrid.

KING: Stan Getz?

JACKSON: Yes. Joelle Jiberto (ph), I love her version -- or his version with Stan Getz. And she's on that --

KING: Yes.


KING: What do you think of Lady Gaga?

JACKSON: I love her.

KING: Because?

JACKSON: I enjoy her music. I feel that she came along and she introduced something a little bit different for the people of today. For myself, it's -- and I don't mean this in a negative way at all. It -- it's a little reminiscent of Grace Jones, how big, how out there her costumes are, how loud, how strong. And I mean that in a very complimenting way.

KING: How good a singer is she?

JACKSON: I think she's very talented. She writes her own music. I think she has a wonderful voice. And I had the opportunity of meeting her for the first time. Was it last year? But I knew of her before she became the Lady Gaga that everyone --

KING: Where did you meet her?

JACKSON: I met her at a concert of hers. And her story I thought was incredible. And when I knew of this artist, I was really pulling for her before she had gotten this recording contract.

KING: We'll have our remaining moments coming up with Janet Jackson. Right now, it's time for Heroes. Tonight, a philanthropist and well-known actor introduces us to a man who clears land mines in Cambodian, mines he once planted. Watch.


HILL HARPER, ACTOR: Hi, I'm Hill Harper. Having previously attended CNN Heroes, An All Star Tribute, I was honored to serve as a 2010 blue ribbon panelist and help choose this year's top ten. Through my foundation, Manifest Your Destiny, I'm personally committed to making a difference in the lives of young people. And I see just how much the world needs heroes.

Now I'm thrilled to help CNN introduce one of this year's top ten honorees.

AKI RA, CNN HERO: My name is Aki Ra. When I was 10 years old, the Khmer Rouge chose me to be a soldier. Sometimes in a week, we were ordered to plant 4,000 to 5,000 mines.

I saw a lot of people dying. I put people in danger and damaged the country.

After the war was over, I started to clear mines by myself. Now people have joined me. Now it's safe.

The villagers are requesting us to de-mine, because the people are afraid of mines.

I have done a lot of good things, different from during the war. I have cleared thousands of mines. I want Cambodia to be safe.


KING: You can vote for any of our top ten heroes to be the 2010 Hero of the Year. You might even meet them, win a trip to L.A., see CNN Heroes, an All Star Tribute on Thanksgiving night. Go to Back with our remaining moments with Janet Jackson after this.




KING: You were on the finale of "American Idol."


KING: Earlier this year with my dear friend Ryan Seacrest.


KING: What do you think of that show and the impact it's had on the industry?

JACKSON: It's so huge.

KING: Amazing.

JACKSON: I think it's a wonderful outlet for finding fresh talent, new talent. And it's fun to watch. Because I work like crazy, I mean, I watch here and there, but I enjoy it. But I enjoy it. When I do watch, I always enjoy it.

KING: I'm told -- I knew this lady, great lady -- that you'd like to do a film, "The Life of Eartha Kitt." There was no one like her.

JACKSON: I had the opportunity of getting to know her. Just before she passed, we were getting to know one another. And I was fortunate enough to spend some time with her. And I saw her at Carnegie. And I was -- she had a performance in September of that year that I -- she wanted me to come and see her. And I wanted to. It just so happens that something came up and I had to work and I couldn't make it.

And I -- I absolutely -- I still love her.

KING: She remains sexy late in life.

JACKSON: And how -- the way she performed that night when I saw her, she blew me away. And all the different languages.


JACKSON: Was it like eight? All the languages, just amazing. I love "Santa Baby."

KING: "Put the sable under the tree for me." You said you're proud you remained true to yourself. But the self also changes. Have you been true to every change?

JACKSON: I've tried to be. We evolve as life goes on and as we get older. And I've tried to keep that -- keep that truth within me always.

KING: Is it -- do you think there's something hard about being a Jackson?

JACKSON: It has its pros and its cons. And I think that's with anything, with anyone.

KING: Yeah, but it's a label, too. Right?

JACKSON: It can make things easy. It can also make things difficult.

KING: You keep on keeping on, girl.

JACKSON: But I'm very proud of who I am and my family --

KING: You ought to be.

JACKSON: -- and my last name. I wear it proudly.

KING: Always great to see you.

JACKSON: Good to see you.

KING: Oh, my God. Who's going to let go? "For Colored Girls" opens tomorrow. Janet Jackson's been our guest. Jeff Bridges tomorrow night. Time now for "AC 360" and Anderson Cooper.