On this Superbowl Sunday many are thinking about Janet Jackson because of how unfair she was treated after her Super Bowl XXXVIII while her stage partner Justin Timberlake not only didn’t get a fraction of the ire directed towards him that Janet received but is actually the half-time talent for Super Bowl LII. And as I started thinking about Janet (Miss Jackson if you’re nasty)myself, my thoughts turned to her side gig as a thespian that has spanned over 4 decades and included quite a few performances that I have very fond memories of…so strap in and take a gander at my Top 5 Janet Jackson Acting Performances!
1. Penny, GOOD TIMES
Janet played the neighbor of the Evans family who was being abused by her mom, then was abandoned by her mom and adopted by Wilona. It was a great role and a great performance from a young actress with very little experience. Janet very easily integrated with the rest of the cast and after a very short time felt like she and her character had always been a part of the show.
2. Justice, POETIC JUSTICE
While Janet’s “around the way girl” attitude needed some work, she brought a lot of spunk and personality to the role of Justice. And she had really convincing romantic chemistry with rapper/actor Tupac Shakur.
3. Jo, FOR COLORED GIRLS
FOR COLORED GIRLS is a pretty mediocre movie that shows pretty much every flaw that Tyler Perry has as a writer and director but Janet did a really good job in her role as Jo despite her entire arc being around the overly melodramatic concept of her husband being on the down low and giving her HIV. Janet (with her scene partner Omari Hardwick) really dive into the anguish of a broken marriage built on lies and in this role Janet showed some laudable dramatic acting skills.
4. Herself, WILL & GRACE
I loved Janet in her guest stint on WILL & GRACE because she was so cool with making fun of herself by playing a heightened version of “Janet Jackson” complete with inflated ego and flighty moments of faux deep musings. I am always here for celebrities who can laugh at themselves and the pre-defined images that the public has of them.
5. Delia, THE LOVE BOAT
In this two-part episode of THE LOVE BOAT we saw Janet portraying Delia Parks, a scheming young actress hired by a diabolical genius named Dr. Fabian Cain (played by KOJAK star Telly Savalas) to seduce lovable bartender Isaac (whose portrayer, Ted Lange was twice Janet’s age at the time), so the evil Dr. Cain could use a robot duplicate of Isaac to steal some rich lady’s prize pony. Yeah, it’s just as ridiculous as it sounds. I liked Janet in this role because it was Janet playing a bad girl which she has rarely had an opportunity to do.