Josh Freeman, the Buccaneers QB, Thrills as Michael Jackson

February 6, 2013 by T.I.
Freeman is gonna thrill ya!

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB, was selected to recreate the cover of one of the most epic albums in musical history, Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1982). The pictures will be featured in ESPN the Magazine, February 18 Music Issue, which will include 14 athletes re-creating some of the most iconic album covers.

ESPN Go spent some time with Freeman behind the scenes of the photo. You can also watch a behind the scenes video or check out a photo gallery showing Freeman’s transformation at the shoot.

One thing is certain, we need a BABY TIGER…RIGHT MEOW!!!!

Do you realize how much you looked like him?

I hadn’t realized. How people view and perceive you is always different than how you view yourself. You’re like, I don’t look like him, because you look at yourself every day — but after seeing some of those pictures, it’s pretty crazy. I’ve gotten “Little Michael” and I’ve gotten “Tito” quite a bit.

Describe the transformation process.

In the makeup room, it all started with the hair. You gotta get the hair right. Once we got that tackled, then it was about getting the outfit right, and once we got that right, we moved to makeup and just trying to shade so I more resembled Michael: his jawline, how his nose is shaped. The little subtleties that allow your face and the expression to look like him. After a few pics, I barely recognized myself.

How much do you know about MJ?

Me and my brother are big fans, I have a lot of friends who are big fans. When I was younger, I used to have this sweet little red jacket, and I went as Michael for Halloween one year. I had a mask. Just the way he took so many styles of music and almost created his own genre. His music really transcends everyday life.

What is your favorite MJ song?

“Black or White.” Because I really am black and white. My father is African-American and my mom is Caucasian. I split right down the middle.

Favorite MJ dance move?

The moonwalk, that nice little tight spin, with a leg kick and a crotch grab to end it.

Read more Q&A with Freeman, reported by ESPN Go.