Jackson thankful for ‘sweetheart’ Perry

The singer/actress reprises her role as a psychotherapist in the sequel to 2007’s Why Did I Get Married?, but production on the project ground to a halt last June (09) when news of Michael Jackson’s sudden passing hit the headlines.

Janet Jackson was left devastated and struggled to cope with the loss of her closest sibling – but she credits Perry with helping her overcome the tragic shock.

She tells People.com, “He actually stopped production and was there for me. (He was) constantly calling me, making sure I was OK, making sure that there wasn’t anything that I needed or my family needed.

“(He’s) such a sweetheart, so giving and so loving.”

Jackson refused to delay production on the movie anymore than she already had and declined Perry’s offer to take a few weeks off to spend time with her relatives – and the director only allowed her back on the Bahamas set after being assured that she was in the right frame of mind to work.

He says, “Once I spoke to her and found out that she was at a place of strength and going to be with her family, I felt safe enough to know that she was going to be OK.”

Jackson recently admitted she channelled her anger at the King of Pop’s death into one furious scene when she had to smash up furniture with a golf club, revealing, “You have to dig deep (for the role) but there was some stuff that was right there for me. Stuff that had just happened, with my brother passing…”

And Perry admits focusing her energy on her work probably helped Jackson return to normality: “I think that a lot of times, people are not able to release. They don’t have a way to let go. And that’s the great thing about having a film like this, where she got to do all of these crazy things. And I think all of (her) emotion is in the film, I really do.”