derek luke*Expect to see Derek Luke starring in the long anticipated remake of 1976 classic “Sparkle” as the love interest of title character played by Jordin Sparks.

Since making his big break as “Antwone Fisher,” the actor has experienced some heavy weight roles, but nothing quite like this one, reports

Working with Whitney Houston was a historical moment for Luke, something he’ll cherish for the rest of his life.

“We had a great time bonding,” said Luke at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday. “We had a few scenes together and we were always on set together, shooting at the same time.”

After hearing of the singer’s death, Luke could hardly believe the news.

“The whole cast was,” he said, adding that she was happy being in front of the camera again as Emma, the mother who disapproves of Sparkle’s music biz dreams. “Whitney’s friends said they’d never seen her more comfortable on a set. She felt at home and made us feel at home.”

The actor complimented Houston, saying she’s “excellent” in the film.