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EXCLUSIVE: Prince Jackson on Following in Dad Michael Jackson's Footsteps and the Importance of Giving Back

by Raphael Chestang 3:29 PM PST, November 23, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Prince Jackson on Following in Dad Michael Jackson's Footsteps and the Importance of Giving Back

ET caught up with Michael Jackson's eldest child, Prince Jackson, who is already walking in his late father's footsteps when it comes to both show business and philanthropy.

"Everybody thought I would do music or be a dancer," Jackson told ET's Nischelle Turner on Wednesday. "I can't do either. I do enjoy film. I do enjoy that business a lot."

WATCH: Prince Jackson Celebrates Dad Michael Jackson's 58th Birthday With Touching Sonnet

Bucking family tradition, Jackson's primary talents in showbiz seem to lie behind the camera. As a producer, he's done music videos for rapper Omer Bhatti and the Sco Triplets through his company, King's Son Productions, and he revealed that he looks to his father's seminal videos for inspiration.

"I like to study and see the little things that they could have done to make it better, or what they did to make it better and stand out from among the rest," Jackson, 19, said. "I think 'Smooth Criminal' [is my favorite]. Or 'Thriller' might be my favorite, because the magnitude and the size it had."

On the philanthropic side, Jackson co-founded the organization Heal Los Angeles, which supports families in the L.A. area with a focus on ending child abuse, homelessness and hunger.

"I'm trying to continue his work in helping children, helping homelessness and helping hunger," Jackson said. "That's what we really focus on with Heal LA, but we focus on a more local base."

MORE: Michael Jackson Honored With Tributes From Daughter Paris and Brothers on 7th Anniversary of Late Music Icon's Death

Born in 1997, Jackson wasn't around when his father's most groundbreaking works were just taking over the airwaves, so his greatest memories of his dad have nothing to do with the King of Pop persona that the world fell in love with.

Jackson said the most normal thing about his dad was watching him "trying to cook."

"He would make Daddy bread," Jackson said. "I didn't really know what it was until recently. It was really like French toast."

Jackson was 12 years old when his father died in 2009. After getting over the initial shock and grieving process, Jackson said that he was able to step out in public as his own man because of the way his dad helped him prepare for the media.

"[His best advice] would be, 'Do not trust anyone at face value,'" Jackson said. "You need to verify exactly what it is."

WATCH: Debbie Rowe Says Daughter Paris Jackson Gives Her 'a Reason to Get Up' Each Morning Amid Cancer Battle

Now, as a sophomore at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Prince, in many ways, is just a typical college student who cherishes his privacy.

"I don't think I'd ever go down the road with a reality series," he said. "I like to keep everything private, because there's been so much of my young life that wasn't private. I like to cherish what I'm able to."

Right now, he's cherishing his relationship with a special lady in his life.

"We've been together since college started," Jackson said through a smile, remaining mum on any specific details.

While it's unclear if he'll be spending time with his girlfriend during the holidays, Jackson confirmed that he will be getting together with his family.

WATCH: Prince Michael Jackson Reveals Late Father's Cautionary Advice in Rare Interview

"My dad used to always say around this time, 'Be thankful for what you have, because some people don't have it,'" Jackson said.

To contribute to Heal Los Angeles, visit them on Twitter (@heallosangeles) or check out their Go Fund Me page here.

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