The late, great Whitney Houston’s final film role in Sparkle is a memorable one, perhaps most of all for her younger castmates. Fuse caught up with some of the Sparkle actors to hear about their favorite moments with the legendary R&B star.
American Idol winner Jordin Sparks—who plays Houston’s daughter in the film—recalled an off-camera duet with the singer. “There was one moment where I told her I’d sang one of her Christmas songs on tour,” she says. “It was her ‘Joy to the World’ version. I sang a little bit of it and then she sang some back to me. I was like, ‘This is the best moment ever.’”
But it wasn’t all serious and reverential. From the sound of it there was also a lot of on-set fun, including an impromptu lesson in Dougie-ing.
“One of my favorite memories would have to be the time we all taught her how to Dougie,” says Sparks, laughing. “That was definitely really crazy and unexpected. It was so fun. She walked in and was like, ‘What is this?’ We were like, ‘This is what it is,’ and she jumped right in.”
Tika Sumpter—who plays another of Houston’s daughters—jumps in: “She may not have been Dougie-ing, but she was doing her own thing. She was getting down. She was like, ‘Girls, I don’t need that. I got this.’”
Omari Hardwick (The A-Team, Kick-Ass) talks about attending a football game with Houston (who, of course, sang the greatest National Anthem of all-time at the 1991 Super Bowl): “We went and saw the Detroit Lions and the [Atlanta] Falcons play. We were cheering for the Falcons, but sometimes she would accidentally cheer for the wrong team. I’d be like, ‘Whitney, no, this team.’ And she’d be like, ‘Oh, alright.’ She had a lot of fun. She knew how to turn on the fun and when to turn on the professional.”
For more about Sparkle and the cast’s remembrances of Houston, check out the video above.