Pastor T.D. Jakes, producer of the soon-to-be-released movie remake Sparkle, said that Whitney Houston’s performance in the movie was “magical” and that he didn’t expect her to be as skilled as an actress as she was.
The movie, which is scheduled for release August 17, is based on a 1976 film that starred Irene Cara, Lonette McKee and Philip Michael Thomas about three sisters trying to make it in show biz—a movie clearly inspired by The Supremes. The new Sparkle will feature Whitney’s final performance captured in film before she died in February.
“Whitney’s performance in Sparkle is incredible,” said Jakes, who has quietly become a major player in Hollywood with such films as Woman Thou Art Loosed, Jumping the Broom and Not Easily Broken. “I was shocked at what a good actress she was and I don’t know why — because I loved Bodyguard and some of the other things she did.”
Jakes said Houston delivered her lines with a professionalism that was “amazing.” He said one of the most memorable moments during the filming came when Houston was called on to sing a song in church.
“She sang in a church scene a song she chose,” he recalled in an interview with TheGrio.com. “We were talking about doing ‘Mary Don’t You Weep,’ but she wanted to do ‘His Eyes on the Sparrow.’ The cast and crew stopped for a moment and realized this girl’s not acting. She was just singing her heart out. ‘I know he watches over me,’ that almost sounds like the kind of song you sing to yourself when nobody’s around to keep yourself going when things are tough. ‘Why should I feel discouraged.’”
It was a magical moment,” Jakes said. “And we never had a clue that it would be the last time we would capture her on film.”