Jordin Sparks' encounter with the late Whitney Houston on the set of Sparkle, which would prove to be Houston's final film, is something that she will cherish for years to come. With the film's release nearing, Sparks talked to ET about Houston's on-set demeanor and how she influenced her and her fellow cast mates.
"She would call us her babies," Sparks said, recounting Houston's affection and genuine care for the cast. "It was so amazing to be able to see that 'cause she was so humble...She wanted to see all of us shine."
Sparks, who rose to fame in 2006 after winning American Idol, has made guest appearances on television shows and has also participated in a Broadway musical; however, Sparkle is her first film appearance. The 22-year-old said she was pleasantly surprised with Houston's willingness to hand over the spotlight.
"[For] somebody with that star power to see younger women coming up and essentially wanting to take [her] place and do the same thing she did--she was O.K. with that," Sparks revered. "For us to be able to see that example was really, really amazing."
Sparks' co-star Carmen Ejogo, who plays "Sister Williams," highlighted that the while film was intended to be a comeback for Houston's career, Houston was just as focused upon bolstering her co-stars' careers.
"Women supporting women in this industry doesn't happen a lot," Ejogo noted. "This was her comeback. This really was her moment, but she was as committed to making sure that it was ours as well--that's exceptional."
Sparkle's story was originally told in 1976 film of the same name with singer Irena Cara playing the title character, which is played by Sparks in the upcoming rendition. Although the film's original concept has carried through, there have been a few major alterations to the plot, which Sparks addressed.
"I remember reading the script and going, 'Wow...there are a lot of major changes in this,'" she said. "Sometimes remakes really bomb and are bad and sometimes they're really good...and I think that what we did with this...I think it's really amazing. I think we did a really good job. I'm so proud of it."