Sparkle originally opened in theaters across the country in 1976. The new version, which stars Jordin Sparks, Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Ceelo Green and Whitney Houston, opens nationwide on Friday.
S2S recently spoke to Tamela J. Mann, the gospel diva, known for her role as Cora in Tyler Perry’s plays and television series “Meet The Browns,” also appears in the new version of Sparkle. In the film, Tamela portrays Emma’s (Whitney Houston) best friend, Sara Waters.
“All of my scenes were with Whitney,” Tamela said. “People said she was gonna be a diva coming in. She was none of that. She was so cordial. She was very professional. We read our lines, then we sat around and talked about the Lord. We talked about family and of course, we talked about music.”
Tamela walked to Whitney’s trailer and asked her to listen, “I’ll Hold On,” a song from her new CD Best Days. Tamela said Whitney was the first person she let hear it. “She said, ‘Yeah, baby!’ You know how she throws her hands up and she said, ‘Yeah, you take ‘em there, baby! This is great. I can’t wait to hear the rest of it.’ It just hurt me so bad when all that stuff went down,” Tamela said in reference to Whitney’s tragic death in February.
“I ain’t never cried when a celebrity dies, but I was crying, and then I went straight to praying for her daughter. I was lifting her up. I was like, ‘Lord, protect her and just give her good guidance around her.’ But it was such an honor to work with her and it’s something I’ll never forget.”
See photos from Sparkle below.