Janet Jackson takes on a challenging role in Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls,” a film which dramatically tackles issues that affect African American women. But in the process the 44-year-old music mastermind, who first earned fame for her voice at the age of nine, finally feels like she is returning to her childhood dream.
“Acting is something I’ve wanted to do as a career before music, this is what I really wanted to do but my father wanted me to sing so I said ‘okay, I’ll sing,’” Jackson revealed to Pop Tarts on Monday. “So I’m just living out my childhood dreams now in my life… I want to do more films, creating and developing, and focus on my personal life. There’s a lot I want to do.”
And despite living in the public eye for so long, it has only been in recent times that Jackson has had the strength to take off the mask.
“I was the person that would hold up the wall, to her hide her true feelings, that engulfed herself in her work to suppress herself true feelings, that’s what I used to do,” she continued. “I was always the kind of kid and adult that held everything inside. I didn’t care what I was going through, I held it all inside and internalized it. So the minute I opened up and spoke about it that’s when my life began to change.”
On the note of shelling out words of wisdom to others, Jackson – who wasn’t comfortable discussing the passing of her brother Michael last year – is preparing for the release of her first book “True You” early next year, where she reveals her own severe struggles with self-esteem in an effort to guide others on the path to a healthier, happier existence.
“It’s a self-help book, I feel so badly saying that to a certain degree because I’m not a guru, I’m not this expert – it is just my experiences. That’s how I write an album, through my life experiences. It’s not an autobiography but it is full of anecdotes and I take you on a little journey throughout my life from childhood on and I wanted to do that because that’s where it stemmed from – self-esteem and weight issues,” Jackson added.
“People wanted to know how I got the weight off and my workout regime,” she said. “But I didn’t want to just write about that because I wanted to appeal to children and teens too, hopefully they will be inspired. I would have loved to have read a book like this when I was a teen. I think it would have really helped me.”
Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay