We Are Here to Change the World
Angelica Huston talks about having worked with Michael during the filming of Captain EO, which Disney is now showing again at Disneyland’s Tomorrowland Theater after they refused to for many years, though fans had been petitioning the company to show the film again long before Michael’s death.
“Captain EO” debuted at the height of Michael’s fame in 1986, featuring director Francis Ford Coppola and executive producer George Lucas. It cost a reported $30 million to make and ran as an attraction at the theme park until 1997.
Ms. Huston, who played a wicked alien witch in the film, says of working with Michael:
I met Michael on the first day of rehearsal, and I was stunned — even though, obviously, I knew his image very well — at how incredibly sweet and how modest and how innocent he was. And fragile too. In person you felt he was almost breakable. But then this thing happened when he would start to work: your heart would beat faster and the hair on your arms and the back of your neck would stick up as he literally took your breath away. I think he was the most electrifying performer I’ve ever seen.
I think it was very hard for Michael to express anger. He was, I have to say, one of the most polite people I have ever met in my life. I never heard Michael say a swear word, even when he was upset. He had the most beautiful manners. And I think music was really the only way in which his passion could come through unguarded. It was immense. He was on fire as a performer — I’ve never seen a talent like it. I think, actually, there was a lot of the otherworldly in Michael. He had this talent that I’ve never encountered before, and I’ve seen a lot of extraordinary people perform. He was, I think, very misunderstood. I never believed any of the allegations or insinuations against him. We had lunch together about a month ago, and he talked about his ordeal. He felt like he had really been put through the ringer. He said they wanted blood. I felt so bad for him, and I felt that he was really broken-hearted from what had been done. He was a meteor: his flame burned incredibly bright, and not for long but mightily.