August 6th, 2012
04:18 PM ET
Whitney Houston's turn as the mother of three sisters who encounter the downsides of fame in this month's "Sparkle" has been viewed as a performance that could have relaunched her career.
But in light of Houston's February death, it will be seen as the performance that "adds another diamond to her legacy," says Houston's co-star, Tika Sumpter ("Gossip Girl"; "Think Like A Man"), who portrays one of the late legend's on-screen daughters.
Sumpter praised Houston's performance, as has the film's producer, T.D. Jakes, who said they all felt a certain responsibility upon the realization that "Sparkle" would be Houston's final bow.
The film is a remake of the 1976 production of the same name, which is said to be loosely based on the Supremes, as it follows the fame that comes to the titular Sparkle and her sisters after they launch a singing career.
"American Idol" star Jordin Sparks portrays the title crooner, and she told CNN in an interview that she, along with the rest of the cast, cherish the fact that they got to work with Houston before she passed.
"We got to experience the beauty and the essence and the humility that was Whitney," Sparks, who portrays the titular Sparkle, told CNN in an interview. "We have those last moments with her, so we get to speak about that - we get to tell people about her and who she was and what we experienced. And I think that's important, too, to add to her legacy."
"Sparkle," Sparks continued, will be the "last thing people are going to see, the last thing she did and she looks beautiful. She lights up the screen, and you can just tell she's so full of joy to be doing this. I saw it for the third time the other day and I just still was so taken aback by the fact that it's all happening and we were all a part of it, and there she was. She was just incredible."
Even having watched the film repeatedly, Sparks still becomes emotional each time.
"The tears, I can't stop them," the singer-and-now-actress said. "I thought after a few times I'd be okay, but just watching her I have this sense of, just, I'm so proud to be a part of it ... Having idolized her, it's like, 'look at her go.'"
And, of course, watching Houston's final performance is "also really, really sad because she's not here physically to see it. But she is all over this. Her hand is in everything," Sparks said. "[W]hen we walk [the red carpet] for the premiere, I know she's going to be there with her angel wings and she'll be strutting that red carpet!"
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