Missy Schwartz
July 08, 2009 AT 11:32 PM EDT

Michael Jackson loved the movies. And for years, he hoped to complement his staggering accomplishments in music with a career in film. Sadly, he never got to realize that dream before passing away. Of course, he did dabble over the years — from The Wiz to scores of groundbreaking cinematic videos, to a funny cameo in Men in Black II.

Jackson also spoofed his MiBII appearance with another cameo, this time in his friend Bryan Michael Stoller’s Miss Cast Away, an unabashedly campy flick that went straight to DVD in 2005 and starred Eric Roberts and (gulp) Evan “Joe Millionaire” Marriott. (Props to Movieline.com for first reporting this.) Jackson played Agent MJ, an Obi-Wan-like character who dispenses wisdom to a group of island castaways via a hologram generated by an R2D2-y robot.

You can see the trailer here. But far more interesting is the bizarre making-of footage (embedded below), in which Jackson, filming a scene in his library at Neverland, stops the take as a noisy choo-choo train makes its way around the ranch. He also sings a line: “She’s out of your life.” He seems subdued and, until a friendly wave and little giggle near the end, it’s hard to tell if he’s having much fun. But considering that the footage dates from the time Jackson was dealing with the second round of child molestation allegations, that’s not so surprising. In any case, it’s a rare look at the pop icon in a more intimate setting towards (what turned out to be) the end of his life. Also, it’s hard not to watch Jackson interact with They Cage the Animals at Night author Jennings Michael Burch and wonder what those two kindred spirits said to each other. Think we’ll ever get to see more of that footage?

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