Michael Jackson’s trial spells good news for at least one person: Edward Moss, an attractive, Los Angeles-based actor who has made a modest career impersonating the Gloved One.
But now it appears that Moss, 27, is about to get his big break, portraying the pop star for daily reenactments of Jackson’s child-molestation trial on the E! cable channel.
Of course, a lot hinges on how much time the real-life Jackson will spend on the witness stand.
With cameras banned from the Santa Maria, Calif., courtroom where the pop star, 46, is being tried, E! will re-enact 15 minutes of highlights from the previous day’s testimonies and broadcast them from the network’s studios in L.A., starting Tuesday.
“We’re going into this with a very serious attitude,” Ted Harbert, president and CEO of E! Networks, said of the E! News Presentation: The Michael Jackson Trial, the Associated Press reports.
But the burden of the show really falls on Moss. The New York Times detailed his 45-minute transformation into Jackson – from the very close shave required to mask his tough beard, to the light makeup over his olive skin and the arching of his eyebrows with a pencil. The paper reports that Moss has been taking his Jackson routine all over the globe for nearly a decade.
It all started when Moss won $200 at a costume contest at a Southern California McDonald’s in 1996. After that, Moss performed for tourists’ tips near Jackson’s star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame, making between $100 and $200 an hour, he says. He also played Jackson in some movies, including Scary Movie 3.
“I know him. I know the character. It’s second nature,” says Moss, who beat out other actors for the E! role.
During the preliminary stages of the trial, the real and fake Jacksons won’t have much to do, other than react to what is said or done in the courtroom – unless that is, something unexpected happens. “It cold be either a huge acting job or a little one,” Harbert concedes.
Just in case it’s the latter, Moss is hoping to branch out. “I would love to get away from the Michael Jackson thing,” he admits. “I’m an actor. I have so much to offer.”