Whitney Houston's final film, "Sparkle," was released on Friday and sees her playing Emma, a no-nonsense mother of three daughters who tries to use her own tragic past to prevent her daughters for following in her mistakes.
Houston, who died in February at the age of 48, spoke in an interview shot during the movie's production about her role and her co-stars.
"She's raising her daughters in a religious atmosphere, back in the 60s, the late 60s. She is a church-going woman," Houston said in an interview provided by the film's studio, Sony Pictures. "She loves the lord, she loves gospel and that is her thing and she raises her daughters in that fashion."
"Sparkle" is a remake of the 1976 movie of the same name. The new film follows three sisters, played by Jordin Sparks, Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter, who form a successful singing group and are subsequently forced to deal with the fallout of fame and drugs. Houston plays their mother.
"They are the three most warm, warm and loving and supportive young women that I've come across in a long time, not only in beauty but inside," Houston said about the three actresses who play her character's daughters. "They're really beautiful people. I have really come to be like their mother in a sense, you know what I'm saying? I give mom hugs on the set."The film marks the big-screen debut of Sparks, who won "American Idol" season 6. Sparks said Houston is "incredible" in "Sparkle."
In March, Sparks talked at Disney's Dreamers Academy about how Houston would joke with her on set.
"In serious scenes, if the camera was on me ... she was standing right here, it was the back of her head, she'd be making faces at me, trying to make me crack," Sparks said. "And I was like, 'I'm going to get you for that. I am going to get you for that.'"
The "Sparkle" reboot is Houston's fourth film. She also starred in the 1997 television movie "Cinderella" and in the 1996 film "The Preacher's Wife" opposite Denzel Washington. Houston made her own movie debut with the 1992 film "The Bodyguard."
Houston and Sparks have a duet in the film called "Celebrate."
In one scene in the film, Houston's character Emma sings the gospel song "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" and Houston said that the scene was very familiar to her.
"Being born and raised in the gospel community, coming from a family of gospel singers, it was not new to me to sing gospel or to sing with a choir," she said. "It is very natural to me. In some ways more natural than popular music because I'm rooted, it's where my foundation is."
She added. "So it wasn't a new adventure, it was just coming back home and doing what I do."
Houston went on to say, "It's going to be a spectacular film and I really hope that everybody enjoys it, I really do, and gets the most of it."
"Sparkle" hit theaters on August 17. Check out the trailer below.