Jordin Sparks calls Whitney Houston's acting in 'Sparkle' 'incredible' (Video)
Jordin Sparks appears as a lead in "Sparkle" and not only is it the former "American Idol" winner's first time on the silver screen, but it is also the last role Whitney Houston ever performed.
Sparks, along with her "Sparkle" co-stars Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter, spoke to OnTheRedCarpet.com earlier this week about Houston's performance in the film and what they want audiences to take away from the movie.
"Obviously, none of us knew it was going to be the last thing that she did," Sparks, 22, said about Houston. "We all knew it was something special while we were filming, but the things she said - I remember being in a scene and she goes, 'Was my life not enough of a cautionary tale for you?' and I remember at that moment just having chills."
"Now that she's not here, it's almost like, wow, now she's really saying it and there's that example there," she added. "But this movie, she was so passionate about it and it was something that she wanted to do for so long and it really is, you know, this last amazing statement and performance from her. She is incredible in this film and I think for this to be the last thing people see of her is going to be magnificent."
Houston died on February 11 at the age of 48 inside a hotel room at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, a day before the 2012 Grammy Awards. She was found in a bathtub and her death was ruled an accidental drowning, spurred by cocaine use and a pre-existing heart condition.
Houston and Sparks have a duet in the film called "Celebrate."
In "Sparkle," Houston plays Sparks' mother. It is a remake of the 1976 movie of the same name and follows three sisters, played by Sparks, Ejogo and Sumpter who form a successful singing group and are subsequently forced to deal with the fallout of fame and drugs. The film marks the "American Idol" season 6 winner's big-screen acting debut.
The "Sparkle" reboot is Houston's fourth film. She also starred in the 1997 television movie "Cinderella" and in the 1996 film "The Preacher's Wife" opposite Denzel Washington. Houston made her own movie debut with the 1992 film "The Bodyguard."
"It's a cautionary tale for a lot of girls these days that, you know, don't rely on sexy and a man to provide you with your happiness and your sense of validation, Ejogo, who plays the oldest daughter Sister, said about the film. You know, you've got to find it in yourself. "
Sumpter plays the headstrong Dolores, the middle sister in the group, and says "I just want girls to take away that it's okay to be strong and to go and get an education. Everybody doesn't have to be a star. You can be a star in your way."
Sparks is currently filming her second film, "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete," and told OnTheRedCarpet.com that she does not want to be categorized for being just a singer or just an actress.
"I'm filming my new movie now so I'm still getting my foot in the door with this. But I do want to be known as a - I would love to be known as a really good actress and a really good singer at the same time," she said. "No slashes."
"Sparkle" hit theaters on Friday, August 17. Check out the trailer below.
Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, parent company of the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).