It took four hours of hair and makeup a day for Navi to look like the king of pop for the filming of Michael Jackson: Searching For Neverland.
Navi, an actor known for Michael Jackson: The Inside Story – What Killed the King of Pop? and A Flat is a Jackson impersonator and plays the role of Jackson in the film that is based on the best-selling book Remember the Time: The last Days of Michael Jackson.
Scripted by Elizabeth Hunter, directed by Dianne Houston and produced by Suzanne de Passe, Madison Jones and Robert Teitel, the film chronicles intimate moments between Jackson and his children, documents the professional turbulence that engulfed Jackson in financial trouble and forced him back to rehearsals for the ill-fated This Is It tour that led to his early death. It helps answer the question that fans around the world want to know, what really happened to the king of pop?
“We get an insight to his life as a normal person. We see what he went through during his everyday life and how he dealt with it. He was a powerful singer that had the ability to unite nations so whether you are or aren’t a fan of Jackson, you owe it to yourself to watch this movie because it shows the true Michael Jackson,” said Navi.
Told through the eyes of the king of pop’s trusted bodyguards, Bill Whitfield (Chad Coleman) and Javon Beard (Sam Adegoke), the movie reveals first hand the devotion Jackson had to his children, and the hidden drama that took place during the last two years of his life.
“It will show Jackson’s love for his children, how he could be himself with his kids, and play games with them. The film also deals with his sexuality, dependency on painkillers, financial issues, insecurities, and other family relationships,” said Navi.
He said being selected to play the role of Jackson was a surreal achievement for him – one, that he still can’t wrap his head around.
“I didn’t do this project from a business point of view, I did this project from my heart, from a Michael Jackson fan’s point of view. I am absolutely amazed at the power this man had. He had fans all around the world and I am one of them, so to be able to play him is such a surreal achievement for me. The response has been amazing and all credit goes to Michael Jackson. After everything that Michael Jackson did for us, his fans, this is for him,”Navi said.
Navi said preparing for the role was difficult. He had to take vocal and acting classes via skype, run on the streets to lose 20 pounds, sit through four hours of hair and makeup daily and film for 12 hours a day with an hour break in between.
“It was very difficult to prepare for the role. I was much heavier than Jackson and needed to lose weight. I also had to sit through hair and makeup daily to make me look as similar as possible to Jackson. But I loved the process and opportunity I was given and hope viewers enjoy what we have produced for them,” he said.
* Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland airs on Lifetime on June 25 at 8pm.