The Daily Grind Video

Ever since Whitney Houston tragically passed away this past February, there has been huge anticipation for the remake of the movie Sparkle.

MUSIC: Whitney Houston & Jordin Sparks “Celebrate” 

American Idol winner Jordin Sparks plays the lead character in the film, and got to work alongside Whitney very closely up until she died.

After paying tribute to the legendary singer at the Billboard Awards this year, Jordin is about to make an even bigger name for herself in the world of acting, as well as singing.

VIDEO: Jordin Sparks & John Legend Pay Tribute To Whitney Houston At 2012 Billboard Music Awards

We had the chance to talk to Jordin while she was in Detroit during filming, and she told us about making her first movie, comparisons to the 1960s film, and working with Whitney Houston.

Check out the exclusive interview below.

GlobalGrind: How was it shooting in Detroit?

Jordin Sparks: It’s been really cool coming to shoot here. I’ve performed in Auburn Hills at the palace, so I haven’t really been downtown, but I’ve been able to be here and really see what the city was. I can feel why Motown started here and how amazing it was. Everyone has been so nice and considerate.

What was your familiarity with the first movie?

I wasn’t alive in the ’70s so I didn’t see it when it came out, but I heard about the remake probably around the beginning of this year before I even knew I was going to be considered or auditioned. I had heard about it, so I went on Netflix and watched it. I really liked it because I love anything that has to do with music. This is my first movie, so there’s a lot of pressure. It’s great to have such an amazing cast with me. I would ask, “Is that OK?” or “Am I responding in the right way?” and with Celine, the director, we shoot things kind of out of order. The hard thing for me is I have to figure out where I am emotionally in my growth stage, and Celine is so great at telling me what happened to me. It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s so much fun too. It’s a completely new experience for me, and it’s fun to be able to do acting and music in a movie format. I hope it turns out really good. It looks really good from what I’ve seen.

What songs will be on the soundtrack from the original movie?

I can’t tell you the names of the songs that I did separately. Most of the songs we are doing are ones like “Hooked On Your Love” and “Jop,” but I do sing some new stuff that I absolutely fell in love with. I’m so excited to show on the soundtrack when it comes down.

Do you have a feeling that the new songs are going to be as legendary?

I think that it definitely has the possibility. I heard the demos. R. Kelly is doing a lot of them and he is just a beast! To hear him singing the demos, I’m just sitting here thinking, “How am I supposed to replicate that?” I’m very excited and honored to be able to sing songs that he has written and been producing. I think they’re going to be really, really good. I’ve been listening to them on my iPod!

Why did you want to pursue acting?

Ever since I was little, I knew that singing is what I wanted to do. I got into doing drama club and theater in school. When we lived in New Jersey, we went to Broadway a lot. So I saw a lot of Broadway plays and just loved being able to see people play a different character and still be themselves at the end of the night. I’ve always wanted to do it, I just didn’t know when, and then this kind of just fell into my lap. I’m really excited for it being my first movie, this cast is incredible.

How did you prepare yourself for this role in particular?

I don’t really know! I just prayed and prayed and prayed. I didn’t know how to prepare. I read the script over and over again. I really loved it, so it wasn’t just to read it. I had the script for a while before we started shooting, so I just wanted to make sure I knew my lines. I had to figure out the right emotion and how I would respond. I had to take a step backwards and see how she would. We’re similar, but we’re very different at the same time.

Why do you feel this story is important?

It’s amazing to see because my character Sparkle goes through a lot of adversity in the movie. She deals with insecurities with herself and trying to overcome that, and also being around her family and seeing them go through it all. Everybody’s changing and everybody goes through stuff like that. Whether you’re an entertainer or anything else, we all go through something and have a personal struggle. I think a lot of young girls and young men who are trying to break into the industry know that it takes a lot of hard work and patience and a lot of sacrifice. They’re going to be able to relate to the girls, and mothers are going to be able to relate to Whitney because she’s great and so awesome! They’re going to be able to relate to Sparkle because she has that slight insecurity about herself and you see her grow and blossom. I hope when people walk away people say that if Sparkle can overcome all of that stuff, then I can do it too.

Are you ready for the extra attention and how your life may change?

I was actually saying before that I don’t know if I’m ready for this! I don’t know if I’m ready for my life to change. You’re right; it’s a whole different level. I must be ready because I’m here and I’m supposed to be doing it for a reason.

What was your reaction to know you were working with Whitney Houston?

As a singer, Whitney is through the atmosphere. She is somebody that you just aspire to want to sing like. I knew that she was executive producing, so I knew that she was going to be involved in the project and that I would see her around. When I heard that she was going to be playing my mom, I just thought “Could this get any better?!” It’s been so exciting. She’s such a riot and so fun to be around. We’ve done a lot of scenes together and she is so funny. She is going to make a lot of people happy. She has millions upon millions of fans who are going to be happy to see who she is in this movie, as well as the people who doubt that she’ll be able to do it! I think those people will be pleasantly surprised as well. I was actually on the red carpet when I found out, so when everyone was asking me questions, all I could think about was, “Whitney’s playing my mom!” I couldn’t even pay attention. She’s great!

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