Michael Jackson performed an “elaborate presentation” while auditioning for the first X-Men movie, according to the film’s producers.
The late pop icon tried out for the role of mutants boss Charles Xavier, and according to Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter, he was one of three A-list hopefuls for the comic book adaptation.
Mariah Carey and basketball star Shaquille O’Neal were also among those who came in to read for various roles in the 2000 blockbuster but it was Jackson’s “elaborate presentation” that really impressed the film bosses.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the singer played them his 1996 short film Ghosts, in which he played a “60-something white mayor”.
“I said to him, ‘Do you know Xavier is an older white guy?’,” said Donner. “And Michael said, ‘Oh yeah. You know, I can wear make-up.'”
She revealed Jackson was “never seriously considered” for the part, which ultimately went to Sir Patrick Stewart.