Monday, July 06, 2009

Brett Ratner on Michael Jackson : 'You felt like God was within him'



By Patrick Goldstein From the LA times:


My father loves to brag to his friends that while his son is a big-shot Hollywood reporter, it was his father who actually met Michael Jackson. Until he retired a few years ago, my dad had a store called the 24 Collection on the Lincoln Road Mall in Miami Beach that specialized in fashion, jewelry, art and one-of-a-kind oddities (I still have a clock set into a Cuban cigar box with a portrait of Fidel Castro on the clock face). One day Brett Ratner, who grew up in Miami and whose mother was a regular customer at the store, called my dad and asked if he could bring his pal Michael Jackson by to look around. As he often did as a courtesy for celebrities who might be annoyed or hounded, my father closed the store that afternoon and put the staff at Jackson's disposal.

"Michael walked around every inch of the store, feeling things, smelling things," my father remembers. "He'd ask questions about what this was or that was, where it was from, how we found it. I made sure the staff didn't intrude on him, although one person did ask for an autograph, which made them an ex-employee right away. But Michael was just off in his own world, curious about everything he saw."

I think my dad got his hopes up when he saw that Jackson was also accompanied by an aide who had a zippered envelope full of cash. But the King of Pop never bought anything. After spending an hour in the store, he just thanked everyone for letting him look around and left.

I called Ratner this morning to ask him how he became such fast friends with Jackson. It turns out that they met in 1998 when Ratner was finishing his first "Rush Hour" picture. One day, Chris Tucker was doing a scene and broke into a wild, Michael Jackson-style dance. The sequence was so funny that when Ratner had test screenings of the film, it got one of the biggest laughs in the picture. But because it was an obvious Jackson impression, Ratner knew he had to clear it with the pop star before he could put it in the movie.

That presented a problem, since Jackson was so reclusive that even Ratner, one of the great celebrity schmoozers of our time, couldn't get to him. He even called Jackson's Neverland ranch but never got anywhere. Then he got lucky. "My editor was talking to the projectionist who ran the final screening and it turned out that he was Michael's personal projectionist," Ratner told me today. "So I gave him the print and asked him to play the beginning of the second reel for Michael, which had Chris' dance in it."

Two days later Ratner picked up the phone and heard the soft, feathery voice of Michael Jackson. So what did Michael say? Keep reading.

"Michael said he'd watched the whole movie and loved it, especially the scene Chris did with his dance. He said, 'You have my permission to use whatever you want.' " That was great, but Ratner needed something in writing. When he asked Jackson to sign something on a piece of paper, Jackson simply invited him up to the ranch. "So I drove up there and walked in, with all his giraffes and other animals, all out there to greet me." Ratner recalls. "I ended up staying at the ranch and we just became great friends. We both had this huge, almost childlike fascination with movies and music and all kinds of entertainment."

Over the years, Ratner and Jackson spent an enormous amount of time together. They would film each other, with Jackson asking Ratner about how he became a film director and Ratner asking Jackson about how he became an entertainer. "I have hours of footage of us, sitting around in our pajamas, with me asking him about what kind of music he loved as a kid, what kind of books he had on the wall as a kid. When you were with him, you really felt like God was within him. He was an amazing, superhuman kind of person, but he always treated you as an equal. He would be your friend and he never asked for anything in return."

One of their favorite activities was to have dance-offs in the game room at Jackson's house. Jackson would put on a record, usually a song by his sister, Janet, and unleash some awesome dance moves. Then Ratner or Chris Tucker, who would sometimes come along, would play Michael's records and dance along to them. I asked Ratner if that felt a little like a mere mortal playing one-on-one with LeBron James. "Hey, I wasn't self-conscious. I'm a pretty good dancer. It was just fun to do it together."

When they weren't dancing, Ratner and Jackson would watch movies together. He says they must've watched the original version of "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" 50 times over the years. "I know that people looked at Michael and thought he was strange, but to me, he was fascinating," Ratner says. "He was the most inspirational person in my life. His one dream was to cure all the sick children in the world. And when I'd say, 'Isn't that impossible?' Michael would just start to cry. He was very emotional about things that moved him. I guess you'd have to say he was a pure innocent in a world that wasn't so innocent anymore."

23 comments:

Fleas said...

Great Story.

Sonya said...

It's so nice to see Michael out with his friends, dancing and enjoyng himself! If we only listened to what the media reports... we'd think that he NEVER had any fun!!! -RIJ- (Rest In Jesus)

1º Ponto Comunicação! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shu_family5 said...

Michael was "Heaven Sent" and I will always morn the loss of him! When you look in his eyes you are looking in the eyes of an angel. I never met him but I felt him in spirit, and in my heart. The world needs more Michaels!!(But this Michael can NEVER be replaced)Charish the time you got to spend with him Brett. ~*~ Charish Today For Tomorrow May Never Come~*~

AmateurHack said...

Brett Ratner + Rob Liefeld - the perfect storm of fame and stupid. Hardly surprising Brett sounds like he'd been humping Michael Jackson's leg...

AmateurHack said...

Brett Ratner + Rob Liefeld - the perfect storm of fame and stupid. Hardly surprising Brett sounds like he'd been humping Michael Jackson's leg...

Isley Nicole said...

I remember when you had Michael talking on your voicemail! Who does that? I was VERY impressed. Great story...

lltrixie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lltrixie said...

Thank you Brett for sharing some of your relationship with Michael. He gave such happiness to so many people through his music. regardless of what some of his critics said any sane person could tell he was a GREAT MAN & to those who had the privilege of knowing him personally, you have lost a GREAT FRIEND! PLEASE continue to post some of your memories of your dear friend so we can also enjoy them.

APPLEHEAD said...

Thank you very much Brett Ratner, for this video with your friend,Michael.
Michael is and always be the best human being in the world.I truly believe he is a gift of God for this dirty world.I just wish ,half of people in the world be like Michael,so that we can save our beloved PLANET for our CHILDREN.
Thank you Michael Joe Jackson for your L.O.V.E.,your music and your beutiful heart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

cathcoy said...

Thanks for your insight into our beloved Michael. We have featured your article at mjtruthnow dot com.

cece said...

I think that the most accurate statement I have heard from those who knew Michael was the one you made; "You can feel God within him.." ]]Please I am beggin you to read my article on Michael jackson ... Trust me it is different than tny you have seen thus far... It is real and from a life-fan... not a fanatic PLEASE GOTO

http://musicmichaelandme.blogspot.com

you will see and be glad you did Iknow...

cece said...

One of the most accurate statements made anyone who knew Michael was yours Mr. Rattner; when you said "You could feel God within Michael." I know this is true. PLease PLease I am beggin you read my article on blogspot, about Michael...GOTO:

http://musicmichaelandme.blogspot.com

you will find healing, upliftment and truth there form a real person that was touched and transformend by his presence on this earth. A life-Fan not a fanatic.

cece said...

Thank you for your comment that "You could feel God within Michael."

I know this to be true. My question is why couldn't the rest of the world ???

cece said...

PLease Mr. Rattner and anyone who reads this... Please I am beggin you that loved Michael please read my article aat http://musicmichaelandme.blogspot.com

I know that it brings a healthy, love-based perspective on Michaels influence and struggles and strength. We need to all take responsibility and change our cynical judgemental attitudes. He couls still be here really, but I believe God knew that He had had enough. This world sucked him dry .. So now what???

cece said...

google:

Music, Michael and me...Memoir of a LifeFan, not a fanantic.

There from the beginning

Dan said...

How come you didn't talk about that in your mymag? http://www.mymag.com

MaryAnn Layton said...

Thanks Brett, for your memories of Michael. Please tell us more!

Believe it or not, Michael's beautiful spirit lives on! Join MJ's Army to learn more at
http://www.mjsarmy.proboards.com/

Mark said...

It's great when you see Michael Jackson with friends, having a fun time, laughing and enjoying the moment. He looks different than when paparazzi don't leave him alone. It's impressive that you have a relationship with MJ, I'll give everything I am, inclusive my viagra online membership to meet him.

India Tours and Travel said...

Complete list of Budget Tours to India for all price levels. Budget India Travel tours with prices starting USD 500 per person and upwards including detailed India Tours
itineraries for various Budget travel options in India including tours to Kerala, Rajasthan and other India destinations.

Magie Lablanc said...

Great App for getting the most up to date film industry news.
This is a great new app that lets you stay informed on the latest news, gossip, and festival updates in the entertainment industry.
Film Today pulls studio and distribution news, film announcements, festival announcements and longer articles from the trades, journalists, studios and bloggers who publish across the Web.
Link = http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/film-today-hand-picked-real/id502322147?mt=8
This is one of the best Entertainment News Apps on the iTunes Store. For a full list of their apps, please visit www.algoryt.hm

Magie Lablanc said...

Great App for getting the most up to date film industry news.
This is a great new app that lets you stay informed on the latest news, gossip, and festival updates in the entertainment industry.
Film Today pulls studio and distribution news, film announcements, festival announcements and longer articles from the trades, journalists, studios and bloggers who publish across the Web.
Link = http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/film-today-hand-picked-real/id502322147?mt=8
This is one of the best Entertainment News Apps on the iTunes Store. For a full list of their apps, please visit www.algoryt.hm

A woman in love said...

RATNER introduces MICHAEL at MALNIK who while being lawyer (great to win the trust!) heir is the godfather who replaces MEYER LANSKY

Purpose of the game: GAIN HIS TRUST BY RETURNING HIM MANY SERVICES, BY BAILING OUT(BY REFLOATING) HIM(IT) in particular and going as far as even becoming the godfather(sponsor) of one of the children!

During this first interview, he(it) is certified (By Michael) whom AS IF BY CHANCE MOTTOLA phones at MALNIK.

Purpose of the game: press on the fact that MICHAEL can be in trust...

For information: we know that the model of MOTTOLA was Morris LEVY.

" ' The biggest influence on all my life, he(it) has rdit is Morris Levy. ' Morris Levy was the godfather in the activity of the producing music companies! "

Morris Levy was an impresario of nightclub and a founder of record company having links with the criminal family Genovese which finally ended in prison for the plot with the aim of attempt of extortion. Mottola had crossed(spent) some time with Levy in the seventies where both had farms in the County of Colombia.




Then you know what it passed: MALNIK, MOTTOLA FIGHTS(DISPUTES): TRY TO APPROPRIATE THE FAMOUS CATALOG, RATTNER being, maybe, the underling returning "service"("department") to finance its movies.


I THINK THAT when MICHAEL spoke Jews who pressed him(it) and sucked the lifeblood out of him(it) he wanted to speak about this clan:


INDEED, RATTNER is Jewish, MALNIK also and MOTTOLA became him to be able to marry, in 1st wedding, the girl of SATURDAY guiding RECORD CLARK of ABC.

BUT WHO IS AL MALNIK REELLEMENT?


For any, he(it) would be a member(part) of the mafia in white-collar worker (bribes, passage in the basket during the elections, the trading of favours) but really what about?

By his/her own admission, he was an old friend of Michael who had asked him(her) to be the godfather(sponsor) of Prince Michael ii and to take care of children, if it arrived at him(her) something!




Malnik was interviewed as for his(her) reports(relationships) with Michael by "Today Show" of the NBC, by CBS and by Palm Beach Comment, among others. Malnik is a lawyer(avocado) which had very closely links with the gangster Meyer Lansky and is considered as sound " the presumed heir. "


Malnik says that he signed a document in 2003 saying that he could take guarding(nurse) of Blanket if anything arrived to Jackson and what it also granted in writing to be the executive of the fortune of Jackson.

Malnik says that Jackson at that time became the godfather(sponsor) of his daughter, Spencer, 11-year-old.

Jackson and Malnik had stopped seeing itself since a few years. The reason is not very clear..
Michael Jackson declared that he was attracted at home from Malnik to Miami Beach by Brett Ratner the director. He said that when he was, Malnik there, who according to Jackson maintained links maffioso, wanted to put his(her,its) nose in its business(affairs). Jackson also declared that it received Tommy Mottola's call