Paris Jackson Steps Into the Spotlight, but What's Next?

Ten years ago, it was hard to point out Paris Jackson in a crowd. Her father, the legendary Michael Jackson, tried desperately to give his daughter a normal childhood by shielding her face during their few public outings.

Fast forward to today, and 14-year-old Paris is ubiquitous, trying to break into the world of Hollywood and making sure everyone knows her name.

Last week, Paris proved that she could walk the red carpet like other Hollywood pros. Dressed in a curve-hugging, floor length gown, she looked years beyond her age at the Mr. Pink Ginseng Drink launch party.

She may soon be walking the red carpet more often. In the past year, Paris has been outspoken about her dream of becoming an actress, telling Oprah Winfrey it's always been her passion.

"I just love it, and I think that it's amazing," Paris said. "You can be a totally different person on camera. It's fun. You can take on another character."

Paris' dream started as a young girl, watching her father, she told Ellen DeGeneres.

"My dad was in the movie 'Moonwalker,' and I knew he could sing really well, but I didn't know he could act," she said. "I saw that and thought, 'Wow, I want to be just like him.'"

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And Michael Jackson was behind his daughter's dreams.

"We would improv together. He would give us little scenarios. He would say, 'OK, in this scene you're going to cry.' And I'd cry on the spot," Paris told DeGeneres.

Paris has already landed her first big role. She's starring in the upcoming movie "Lundon's Bridge and the Three Kings." Although her acting ability remains something of a mystery -- the movie's release date hasn't been set -- Us Weekly senior music editor Ian Drew noted that Paris has the right upbringing and look to be a leading lady.

"There's an intensity to her that I think gives her a real star quality," Drew told "There's something about her eyes and the directness in the way she speaks, so she definitely has something to offer."

Paris has also been vocal about breaking out of the shadow of her father and making her own career.

"I love my dad, and I'm proud to be his daughter. I just don't think the title 'M.J.'s daughter' fits me," Paris told Glamour magazine last month. "A lot of people think he's the only reason I'm making it, but I want to show that I do have talent and that I can make it if I try. I want to be my own person."

Drew pointed out that while some people may doubt Paris' acting, many more will want to see her talent because she is Jackson's daughter. But he said she can break out because it's happened before, citing Melanie Griffith, who broke out of her mother's, Tippi Hedren's, shadow.

"It happens all the time. It really takes the talent to depend on that," Drew told "If you don't have the talent, you'll be a joke, so it's a tricky line."

Paris' famous family is also a factor, but not all of them are on board with her plans. Earlier this year, Janet Jackson expressed worry over her niece's acting aspirations.

"I think there's a time for everything, and now is not the time [to act in films]," Jackson told Prevention magazine in May. "I told her I thought she should enjoy being a kid, possibly go to college -- or not -- but wait till she turns 18. She's a very tough, smart girl. But it's a cutthroat industry. I wouldn't want my child to do it."

Paris has shown streaks of independence, though. When drama unfolded between Jackson's siblings this summer, she publicly challenged her relatives about the health of her grandmother, tweeting that she didn't appreciate one family member "yelling everyone things that aren't true." Representatives for the Jackson family spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

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Paris has also been outspoken about the upcoming presidential election. She tweeted last month that she would "move to Africa" if Romney wins.

"Spoke my mind, said my opinions ... don't reeeallyy care if you disagree with me … #sorrynotsorry #voteobama," she added.

"She's very strong with very strong opinions," Drew told "You can't tell her what to think. You can see her parents in her."

Besides acting and tweeting, Paris has also been trying to come into her own style-wise. She posted photos of some new looks to Instagram, including trying out a short, Miley Cyrus-esque wig.

Michael Bush, Michael Jackson's longtime friend and costume designer, said Paris should keep experimenting with fashion.

"Experience everything, try everything until you find your look," Bush, the author of "King of Style: Dressing Michael Jackson," told about his advice to Paris. "Everybody wants to piece themselves together until they find their niche. Hopefully, she can do the same thing. Her personality will come out with her clothing."