Vixen Chat: Tika Sumpter Dishes on Her Role In ‘Sparkle,’ Whitney Houston and Her Abs


VV: What did you learn working from your on-screen mom Whitney Houston?
TS: There’s so many little nuggets, but one, always be humble. She has every right to not be if she didn’t wanna be, like you know, she’s Whitney Houston! That’s what you would think but she’s the opposite of what a diva would be. [I also learned to] just show humility and be open to learning. She was so vulnerable. She knew that this story kind of paralleled with hers and she was just an outstanding person. It’s usually the people who act like they’re ridiculously fantastic who’ve done the least and she’s done a lot [but] is still the most humble person ever. She was happy to be there on set.

One thing I loved about your character was that she broke from the group to pursue medical school and music at the same, so she didn’t really dabble with any guys. But if the script was changed and Dee was romantically involved with one of the male co-stars, who do you think she would’ve chosen?
[Laughs] That’s such a funny question! Everybody’s like, ‘Dolores doesn’t have a man,’ and I’m like, ‘Her man is her books!’ They would have to write in a new character. Maybe we could take somebody from the original. It definitely wouldn’t be Satin ’cause she would not even have that!

How about Levi?
Maybe in the beginning with how he was, but I don’t know if Levi’s her type. We would have to create a new character.

Another thing the fans are going to notice are your to-die-for abs. What is your secret?
Oh God, girl! I was in that gym trying my hardest ’cause when I saw those outfits, [I was like] ‘Why am I in these ones like this?’ and they were like, ‘Because you have the figure to do it.’ I was in the gym, trying to eat healthy and work out at least three times a week, but I’m definitely not as committed as the athletes in the Olympics. I wish I was!

Sparkle hits theaters Aug. 17.