Sparks calls Houston an "amazing supernova diva... yet you would feel like she was your best friend."
Jordin Sparks calls the experience of her acting debut in the new film "Sparkle" co-starring alongside the late Whitney Houston "the most amazing blessing since winning" 'American Idol'. Sparks, who plays the aspiring singer-daughter to Houston's wary music veteran mom, pours out her heart about making the film -- and the lessons she learned from Whitney -- in a video interview with Billboard.com (watch above).
"It's heavy," Sparks says of the sadness cast upon "Sparkle" because of Houston's untimely death in February, "But at the same time it's such a celebration of her because it was her baby and she's so proud of it."
The young singer, who is now also prepping her third album as "Sparkle" is released Aug. 17, says that Houston has always been one of her major influences, calling younger self "a kid singing her songs into a hairbrush." But far from Houston being the aloof superstar, Sparks tells a story of an impromptu moment on the set that paints an appealing picture of Whitney as a down-to-earth woman with a huge talent.
"I was singing 'I Have Nothing' under my breath," Sparks explains. "I didn't realize she was right behind me and she grabbed my arm and [says] (gasp), 'I forgot I sang that song!'… She went on to just describe [how] she walked into the recording studio when she was six months pregnant, and she was tired and the baby was kicking her. And she did that song in three takes she told me. I thought I got some work to do."
"We all know about the ups and downs," Sparks says, but adds that Houston "was real about that she never hid it… That was really cool to see, somebody who just knew who they were. She was this amazing supernova diva and *the* voice, yet she would walk in the room and you would feel like she was your best friend."
"I took from that that no matter what happens we're all going to have battles that we fight, we're all going to have accomplishments, but at the end of the day we have to be happy in ourselves."
"Sparkle," a remake of the 1976 musical drama of the same name, features Sparks in the title role, counts Houston not only as co-star but also executive producer, and also features an acting turn by Cee Lo Green.