Ebony magazine website featured this old interview with Michael from 1982 during the shooting of the Beat It video.
Michael: And they are coming together to rumble, to fight. And my object is to tell them to turn the other.., I mean don’t fight, turn the other cheek, I mean, it’s your brother who you are killing and...
Michael: And I do it through an aggressive beat and rhythm and dance and everything.
Interviewer: And you got a real gang in it too.
Michael: Yeah, we have real gang members integrated in with dancers, we got lots of real gang members in it.
Interviewer: Do crowds worry you?
Michael: Not on tour. I get afraid of. Well I don’t know people. I can get afraid of people sometimes. It’s a whole other life, that I haven’t really experienced that. Like friendship is a thing I am just beginning to learn about. I was raised on the stage and that is where I am comfortable. And everything else is like foreign to me. I’m just beginning to know to learn about people, friendship, things like that.
Interviewer: So you never really hit the streets, hm?
Michael: I know nothing about it. I guess from movies, or the schooling that I’ve had. We’ve had tutors throughout the years and private schools. When I was real little I went to public school once and I went to another public school for one week and it got so bad. The fans, they'd come into class and they chased us around and stuff.
Interviewer: So, who are your real friends?
Michael: I love our fans. Everyone who buys our records. From my heart and my work. I appreciate the fact that they enjoy it..
Interviewer: Mhm, but I mean just close personal friends, are those close personal friends?
Michael: Quincy Jones is a friend; and there is a few others.
Interviewer: Are they all in show business?
Michael: Jane Fonda is a good friend, Diana Ross, very dear friend Diana Ross, she is the kind of person I can tell her anything, the most private of secrets. And she tell me her secrets as well.
Interviewer: What about your house. I understand that you tore your house down and rebuilt it for your mother in the form of a castle. Is that true?
Michael: Somewhat, yeah. I’ve always loved English Tudor and so does she. And I fantasize a lot in my life, you know, the whole knight and the princess style. Very story book.
Interviewer: Well, we would love to see it when it’s completed.
Michael: Disney Studios is doing a whole Pirates of the Caribbean room. When you walk in there, there is like a pirate’s shootout. And these animatronic robots like, and they talk and they sing and they dance and they are shooting. You walk in the middle of this whole war. And there is smoke and canons and everything. And that’s exciting! It’s taken from the Pirate’s of the Caribbean.
Interviewer: And you got this in your house?
Interviewer: I’ve read a magazine article about your Sundays and how you spend your Sundays. Your Sunday ritual I think they called it.
Interviewer: Tell me about the Sunday rituals.
Michael: Well, every Sunday I fast. I don’t eat anything. It’s just something I decided to do for my body. And I dance every Sunday. And I feel better doing it.
Interviewer: You just fast and dance?
Michael: I don’t eat anything.
Interviewer: What music do you dance to when you do this?
Michael: Mine. Or, anything that’s got a fast beat to it.
Interviewer: And who do you like right now?
Michael: Who do I like? Classical Music.
Interviewer (interrupts): Classical...!
Michael: That’s what I sleep to. People who come around me, they are surprised, because that’s what I listen to all day, is classical music.
Interviewer: Well, hey, I know you gotta go. They are giving me the high signs, you gotta get out of here and finish this at the next shoot. But, Thanks.
(Beat It starts playing.)