Whitney Houston's death earlier this year has made the upcoming release of "Sparkle" bittersweet for the cast. The bitter part is obvious, but the sweet side -- for Jordin Sparks -- is that she got to make her feature film debut with one of her heroes.
"I am super excited," Sparks told Access Hollywood of making her first big screen appearance. "I finally got to see the film and we all knew it was something special when we were filming it, but to finally, to see the finished [product] -- I just have this overwhelming sense of pride. Twenty years from now I get to say that my first film was this and it's incredible I got to work with one of my idols. I got to make new friends and family and it's just it's, it's amazing."
"Sparkle," which hits theaters on August 17, marks the late Houston's return to the big screen as well, and while filming the project last year, Sparks said her co-star was confident on set.
"There was one thing that she wasn't... nervous," Sparks said. "She was not nervous at all. She was the one who would set the tone for the day and if we were nervous she'd say, 'You got this... Believe in your gift and your talent.' That's the type of person that she was."
Sparks said Houston may not have seen finished product, but she was on set most days.
"She was there [on] days when she had no scenes to film and she just wanted to be there to watch us -- that was how encouraging she was," the former "American Idol" said. "I remember when we did 'Giving Him Something He Can Feel,' and she was so excited. She came up and she hugged all of us and she sat and she watched it just for the sake of being there and watching it and being so passionate about it."
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