Grammy winner Houston passed away prior to the filmâ€™s release, but as an obviously seasoned veteran of the music industry who knew more than a little about its potential pitfalls and dark sides, she was more than qualified to take on the role of Emma, the girlsâ€™ mother, in Sparkle. Emma is a woman who grew up in the music business and who wants to continue raising her daughters in the quiet, pious life grounded in the home, where gospel singing is their only artistic outlet and popular music is shunned. â€śShe wants them to stay her little girls, but of course, they grow up,â€ť Houston said of the character during filming. â€śHer oldest daughter goes to New York and comes back home with a New York attitude, so trying to keep her girls grounded and not let the influences of what was happening with the music and dancing overwhelm her family, is her most important mission.â€ť
Director Salim Akil (Jumping the Broom) admits to getting emotional when having to talk about Houston and her role in the film, but he insists she played Emma for all she was worth. â€śWhat sheâ€™s giving you in this film is what sheâ€™s given consistently since weâ€™ve known her as an artist, and that is quality; subtlety; knowing how to play the quiet moments and knowing how to restrain herself in the bigger moments, so that her Emma anchors the movie,â€ť Akil says. â€śShe was excited about playing it, and sheâ€™s amazing in it.â€ť
Sparkle is available on Video On Demand starting Nov. 29. Check your cable system for availability.
Photo: Â© 2012 Stage 6 Films, Inc. Credit: Alicia Gbur