Actress Tika Sumpter has been continuously wowing Hollywood with her bubbly personality and supermodel looks.
Tika had the amazing opportunity to costar in the remake of the 1976 classic, Sparkle, with a star-studded cast including Jordin Sparks, Derek Luke, Omari Hardwick, Mike Epps, Cee Lo Green, and Whitney Houston.
Playing the character Delores Williams, Tika was one of a few actresses to stand alongside the late great Whitney Houston before her untimely death in February 2012.
GlobalGrind caught up with the beauty to find out all the exclusive details about filming Sparkle, her relationship with Whitney Houston, and of course, her own music career.
Check out our exclusive interview below!
GlobalGrind: Sparkle hits theaters August 17th, how excited are you for the movie and for everybody to see what you, Jordin, Omari, and Whitney have worked so hard to put together?
Tika Sumpter: I’m really excited for everybody to see it. It’s a project that we all definitely put our heart and soul into. We all felt very family-like on set. I’m just excited for everybody to see Whitney’s last movie performance. Jordan’s great in it. The whole cast, Carmen Ejogo, Mike Epps, Derek Luke, Omari Hardwick, everybody who’s in it! I’m just excited for people to see everybody’s performance.
I know Mike Epps is crazy. He probably was cracking all the jokes, but how was the aura on the set with Whitney?
It was funny to be on. Whitney is so funny. I don’t know if a lot of people know that, but she’s hilarious. We were always laughing whenever we had moments to chill out. We would go upstairs and either just talk, dance, or it’d be everybody singing. It was a very uplifting set. There was no kind of friction or diva attitude, nothing like that. It was nice.
I heard that you guys showed Whitney how to do the “Dougie?”
We did! Oh my god, that was so funny. That was one of the best memories. We were all hanging out, had music on. Then, I guess Jordin put on the song and all of us started doing the “Dougie.” Soon after, Mama Whitney got up and started Dougie-ing with us.
Did you guys have to show her how to do the “Dougie,” or did she already know how to do it?
Let me tell you something. She can move. All she had to do was the hand thing where you put it behind your head, and she was like “okay,” and then she had it! She was doing it herself. She could move. We didn’t have to teach her much.
Would you call it one of your favorite moments on set?
It is one of my favorite moments. There are so many I had, whether it was with Jordin, or Carmen who played my sister, because I feel like in this film there is that feeling that we are sisters. You know how you see a movie sometimes, and you’re like, “I don’t know if they have chemistry.” Well, I feel like we did. That was fun, and us just talking and joking around, that’s one of them. Also, just sharing moments with each other, laughing. One of the scenes we could not stop laughing. It’s all been a great experience; one of the best movie experiences I’ve ever had.
Tell me a little more about your music. Who do you listen to? Who are some your favorite artists out right now?
I have an eclectic pallet of music that I listen to. It depends on my mood. Yesterday, I had a mood for India Arie. I buy everything India Arie, just because she’s such a positive person, and I just love her music. Her music’s so soulful…I think Kanye West is a genius musically. Then I can go to Motown. I love Motown, that whole era. Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson. I just put on Pandora, and put it on Motown, and it makes me smile; makes me smile so much. I also love Sam Cook…Then, I love Gym Class Heroes. There’s not one particular sound that I like. It’s just whatever moves me. I love good beats and good lyrics. I’m pretty open.
Have you gotten a chance to listen to Frank Ocean’s new album?
Not yet! I heard it’s amazing. Channel Orange, right?
Yeah, I’m super stoked to listen to his artistry, regardless of whatever. I’ve never thought that somebody’s sexuality ever made a difference. I could care less. I’m proud of him. That doesn’t make you less or more of anything. If you’re talented, you’re talented. I’m really excited for him, and proud for him. I’m just happy that he’s living his true life. Good for him! I tweeted, “Wow! Frank Ocean thank you for living your true self.” Some people are like, “Why are people always congratulating somebody for coming out?” People don’t get how hard it is to do that in our industry. It can kill somebody’s career, and it has killed people’s careers in the acting world. I think people don’t understand that people can stop being fed from coming out like that, and it’s a huge deal. I’m super happy for him.
If you could work with any producer, what producer would you work with?
That’s a good one! I’m going for the top, Kanye West! The first time I saw him perform was actually at the Essence festival last year. Literally my mouth was just wide open. I love the production value and his idea of what his visuals should be, and his energy. Then, I saw the BET Awards, and I was like, “He’s just smart.” Not only is he smart, he’s musically amazing to me. I feel like he could dip into any genre he wanted to. I don’t think it just has to be rap. I think he’s musically inclined. Just genius!
If I sent you to a deserted island and you could only bring three albums, what three albums would you bring?
That’s hard. I would definitely bring Voyage To India, which is India Arie. I would definitely bring The Blueprint because I like Jay-Z too. I’d probably something from Usher or Wale.
Like Wale’s Ambition?
Oh my god! I love Ambition. I could listen to the whole album a million times. I would bring Ambition. Let’s take Usher out. India Arie is my soul stuff. I’d take Wale and Jay-Z as well. Yeah, Blueprint!
Is there anything else you want to share with us? Any upcoming projects that you’re working on that you want to get out there?
Just pushing Sparkle right now. I hope everybody really comes and supports it, and makes it number 1 when it comes out, first weekend.