During press for the film every cast member had something different, but equally enchanting to say about the larger than life mega-star whose untimely passing shocked and saddened her fans around the world.
Thankfully she left a gift to be marveled in her performance as “Emma,” in the highly anticipated remake – a film which she’d been trying to get produced for years. Her co-stars on the set shared their feelings about working with her, for some it would be the last time they saw her – and how they’ll remember Whitney Houston.
Jordan Sparks on what Whitney Houston said to her after her solo performance in the film – the last time she saw her:
“The last time I saw her was on set, the last scene we filmed … there was one moment after I was done filming and she was watching … she sat near me ’cause she wanted to see everything and so she was watching and she and she walked up on the stage and she put my head in her hands and was holding me and looking at me like this and said ‘you are everything we wanted’ and I just remember losing it there ’cause to have your idol to just tell you that I just lost it … and she’s rubbing my back. That was the type of woman she was. She was so nurturing and just wanted to see everybody else succeed. that was one of the last things I remember her saying to me.”
Mike Epps on talking to Whitney Houston behind the scenes on set:
“I can remember like you know, ah, on the side of the house talking to her, you know what I mean? Because Whitney seemed like she wanted people to be real with her you know not like “Hollywood.” I would talk to her about real stuff … you know, like life. She’d tell me about her daughter … she told me straight out her mouth … she said straight up: ‘man if anything ever happened to me, I did it! I seen everything, had everything.’ Her spirit is carrying this film.”
Derrick Luke upon hearing Whitney Houston had passed:
“One moment that me and Whitney had on set was that we both was raised in the church so we were talking about gospel music and, I felt because we were talking about gospel music, it was pointing out that I wouldn’t see her again …”
Omari Hardwick upon hearing that Whitney Houston had passed:
“I was with my lady and friends and they were trying to hide the phone … and I guess they didn’t feel like they could hold it from me so they ended up telling me. It was very weird because there was this young girl … and she had been literally trying to get me to get a picture with her when I’m receiving the news … and I just slumped down and just sat there. Tears weren’t able to come out…”
Tika Sumpter on how Whitney Houston acted behind the scenes:
“Whitney just joked a lot. She’s really funny. I wish everybody could see – I kept thinking, ‘oh I wish the world could see this part.’ Like hilarious, loved to dance, loved to joke around with us…”
Carmon Ejogo on the last time she saw Whitney Houston:
“The last time I saw her was the last scene in the movie that she played … and it’s a really poignant moment where its just very emotional … and it’s like this sort of ‘Marina Abramović’ moment where it’s like just really intense and naked and honest. It was like that was the last moment that she was part of that project and I think, to the very end, she was just constantly available and raw. There’s a rawness about her that’s rare. People aren’t’ real often and when somebody has that much of a life and legacy and reached that much status it’s so easy then to disappear … and [she] was always giving.”
See Whitney Houston’s final performance on the silver screen in “Sparkle.”