Whitney Houston could seem wonderfully carefree and spontaneous when she was singing, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen her seem comfortable while being interviewed. You expected her to seem stiff and defensive when she was going through her troubles with drugs and her tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown. But the interviews that she gave before her death to help promote Sparkle, her final film, should’ve been as easy as pie.
The production hires people to produce the soundbites and the questions are always puff balls. Houston was an executive producer of Sparkle, so she had a financial stake in it doing well and so in doing a good job in promoting it. But in the brief video below you see her answer the first question as if she is on trial.
Compare her interview with that of Jordin Sparks, who also stars in the movie. They touch on some of the same things, such as the way Houston was like a mother on the set. Sparks is energetic, excited and personable. Houston, on the other hand, refers to the other actresses without even mentioning their names.
Who knows what she was going through when this interview was taped, but it looks as if she just wanted it to be over. Houston had no way of knowing that these would be among her last recorded words about the movie that her friends say she was counting on to help mark her career come back.
Maybe if she had known she would’ve put more into it. Maybe she was saving the energy, the excitement, the personality – the sparkle – for the other interviews and red carpets and talk show appearances that she surely expected to come as the opening date for Sparkle drew near. Now, with the movie opening on Aug. 17, those red carpets and talk show appearances are about to begin…but without Houston.