Terrence J talks ‘Sparkle’ film: ‘Whitney Houston helped me shape my definition of love’

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Terrence J attends the 'Think Like a Man' screening at the AMC Empire 25 theater on April 4, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)

Terrence J attends the 'Think Like a Man' screening at the AMC Empire 25 theater on April 4, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)

Terrence J is proving that he is much more than just the host of BET’s 106 & Park.  The 30-year-old actor will soon appear in his second film this year, Sparkle, which is set to hit theaters August 17.

During an interview with theGrio, Terrence J talked how he has been able to transition from being a VJ to igniting his acting career. He also discussed what it was like meeting his Sparkle co-star Whitney Houston for the first time, and revealed the one thing he wishes he could have said to the “I Will Always Love You” singer.

A lot of people know you from your gig hosting 106 & Park on BET, but how did you get into acting?

It’s always been an aspiration. You know it’s been something that I’ve always wanted do. Just by auditioning, auditioning like everyone else. I get a role and I’m very grateful and I try to take it seriously and I’ve just been really blessed to be a part of some amazing projects like Sparkle.

Have you had any formal training for acting? Have you gone to school or classes?

Yep, Lee Strasberg Institute in New York City is the school, and then I have an acting coach — her name is Tracey Moore — and between the personal coach and acting school, that’s how I prepare for roles. Whenever I have an audition I call up Tracey immediately and we prepare for it.

What would you say is more difficult for you, acting or doing the hosting gigs?

Acting is definitely more difficult. As with anything, you get better with time. So with hosting I’m at least more comfortable with it because I do it every day. With acting you know it’s more of a learning curve because I don’t get as many chances to be on set. So every time I get on set I just try to learn and observe as much as I can.

So tell me about the character that you play in this film

I play the club promoter in the first scene in the film. So I’m pretty much the guy that introduces sister and her sisters to the world for the first time. I have a really fun scene with Jordin and Carmen and Cee-Lo Green and Derek Luke. And like I said, it opens up the film, so make sure you’re not late or you might miss it.

I saw an interview Whitney Houston gave before she passed away where she talked about Aaliyah being her original Sparkle. Have you ever thought about what it would be like starring in Sparkle alongside Aaliyah?

You know I don’t know, I mean I’m a fan of Aaliyah — she’s one of my favorite singers of all times. But you know when I saw the movie, Jordin really captured it. You know she really did an amazing job. So you know for me I try not to look at what could have been, I just look at what is. And what is, is that it is a phenomenal movie with an all-star cast that people are going to love. You know I just hope that people really enjoy themselves in their movie going experience when they go see Sparkle.