(Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Ten years since his breakout performance in Antwone Fisher, Derek Luke has another high-profile movie on the way. He plays Stix, love interest for the title character played by Jordin Sparks in the upcoming remake of the 1976 film classic Sparkle, and had the opportunity to work with Whitney Houston, in what turned out to be her final role. “We had a great time bonding,” said Luke when we caught up with him at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday. “We had a few scenes together and we were always on set together, shooting at the same time.”
Luke was devastated when he heard about Houston’s death. “The whole cast was,” he said, adding that she was happy being in front of the camera again as Emma, the mother who disapproves of Sparkle’s music biz dreams. “Whitney’s friends said they’d never seen her more comfortable on a set. She felt at home and made us feel at home.”
According to Luke’s wife, Sophia, “it’s going to be like the grand finale on the Fourth of July” when Sparkle opens in August, and Luke believes it will be a fitting final tribute to Houston’s talent. “She’s excellent in this movie,” he said.
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