"Sparkle" had been seen by the entertainment industry as a comeback for Houston, but it turned out to be her last hurrah before she drowned in a hotel bathtub after using cocaine. Houston, who battled drug addiction for years, died three months after shooting on "Sparkle" wrapped.
"I think the first time I actually get to see it, I'll probably bawl throughout the entire film," Sparks told the Detroit Free Press. "Then I'll have to see it a second time to really see what they did with it."
Houston played Sparks' mother in the film, and Sparks said Houston seemed to enjoy the role of mentor and mother hen off camera as well.
"She was always just so encouraging," said the Detroit native and "American Idol" winner. "She was so full of joy and full of light, because this was her baby. She'd been working on this movie and getting it out for, I think, 10-plus years."
"Sparkle" is set in the Motown era of the 1960s and opens in August. Much of the filming took place in Detroit over a two-month span, which Sparks said created a tight bond among Houston and the rest of the cast and crew.
"She absolutely loved being there," Sparks said.