Jordin Sparks: Whitney Houston's 'Sparkle' is 'a gift for her to leave for all of her fans'

jordin-sparks-whitney-houston-sparkle.jpgNew movie "Sparkle" opens this week, which is not only the feature film debut of "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks, but also the final project for the late Whitney Houston, who plays Jordin's mother Emma in the film.

On "Today," Sparks opened up about filming with Whitney and how devastated she was by the legend's passing.

"I actually think the stars really did align with this film. Everybody was in a place where they could really propel the characters. Whitney also was just in this place in her life where she could really play a mother like that," says Sparks.

"It was incredible," she continues. "Just taking out of it the acting side for a minute, as a singer I grew up listening to her music and idolizing her, so [working with Whitney] was intimidating but really fun at the same time."

And Sparks says she learned so much from the experience.

"[Whitney] always delivered in her on-screen performance, so me for me it was like, 'What can I learn?' I was just a sponge, soaking up everything she was doing," Sparks gushes. "She was the consummate professional. She was spot-on. As soon as they yelled, 'Action' she was just Emma, she was that character."

In the course of filming the movie, Sparks only spent a few months working with Houston, but filming schedules are intense, so she feels like she got to know her well.

"It's crazy because I only got to know her for two months. It was an intense two months -- you spend that much time with somebody and you do get very close. I was devastated [by he death]," says Sparks. "Shell shocked, rather."

"For me to feel that way, I can't imagine how her family and people who have known her for years have felt," Sparks continues. "I was so completely devastated. They must be still completely reeling from it. It still comes in waves. But at the same time, this movie, what better gift for her to leave for all of her fans and for everybody than this amazing performance that she does."

"Sparkle" opens nationwide Friday. Aug. 17.

Photo/Video credit: Tristar Pictures