'Sparkle' Star Terrence J Talks Missed Opportunity with Whitney & More
The actor also talks about not shaving for a purpose
It wouldn't seem like Terrence J would have time for charity work considering that he's now established himself as a formidable TV personality and a burgeoning actor with the potential to take Hollywood by storm.
Following the success of Think Like a Man, Terrence is gearing up for the August release of the anticipated Whitney Houston-led remake Sparkle, but he's also found a creative way to donate to a cause and it lies in his beard. He spoke to Loop 21 about his latest endeavors.
Loop 21: What attracted you to your 'Sparkle' role?
Terrence J: I’ve always been a fan of the movie. I thought the original was a classic and the chance to work with Mara and Salim Akil again was real attractive to me. I had worked with them previously on “The Game." The film is gonna be amazing. I really think people are gonna like it. Obviously there’s a lot of interest in it because of Whitney Houston so, I’m excited for people to see her last performance because it was brilliant. I play the club owner who first introduces the girls on stage. I have a really fun scene with Cee Lo Green. I’m just happy I got to work on such a legendary project.
Loop 21: Did you share any memorable moments with Whitney?
Terrence J: My first day on set, I had the scene with Cee Lo and I had to go into wardrobe and Jordin [Sparks] was upstairs so I went to go see her. I gave her a big hug and when I turned around, I bumped into Whitney. I remember her being super beautiful and super tall, and I wanted to take a photo with her but I thought it would be inappropriate because it was my first day on set. I thought to myself, 'I’ll see her at the red carpet premiere, so I’ll just wait until then.' And now I never got that opportunity so, for me, it’s always been a constant reminder when you meet people and you appreciate their work that you have to tell them then. A lot of times we celebrate people when they pass and we don’t give them flowers while they’re still living so, that’s just been a reminder to me that when I love somebody I’ll tell them that I love them.
[ALSO READ: Derek Luke: How He Prepped for 'Sparkle']
Loop 21: Aside from acting, you're involved with Shave With a Purpose. Tell us about it.
Terrence J: I’ve been traveling a lot abroad and I’ve been going to a lot of third world and disparaged countries and you start to realize how many luxuries we have here in the States. Women are able to get their hair done and their nails done and fellas are able to get our hair cut and our shaves on a regular basis and we don’t take that for granted, I think. So, what the Shave With a Purpose campaign is, I’m sacrificing shaving for six weeks and every week that I go without shaving, Magic Shave is gonna donate money to a charity organization of my choosing, and so what I want to do is inspire and influence other people to sacrifice something for charity. And if you use the hashtag #ShaveWithAPurpose [on Twitter] you’re also gonna donate toward a charity as well.
[ALSO READ: Terrence J to Leave '106 & Park']
Loop 21: I bet your hair grows fast, too.
Terrence J: Unfortunately it grows super fast, so on “106 and Park” I’m gonna turn into a poof ball really soon.
Loop 21: Can you at least shape it up?
Terrence J: We worked that in the deal, so I can shape it up. I’m getting my Rick Ross on.
Loop 21: Speaking of your charity work, I know you did some work in Haiti for earthquake relief.
Terrence J: Absolutely. The socioeconomic problems there are so widespread and there are so many problems with the infrastructure that they’ll probably be dealing with that for the next 15 years, I would expect. But I’ve been very involved and I’m planning on another trip. I actually spoke with Wyclef a couple of weeks ago and he’s headed out there to do some good work. I’m gonna hop on a plane with him and go volunteer again.
Loop 21: That’s a nice way to end this, but is there anything you want to add?
Terrence J: I have another show coming out called “Battle of the Year” that was shot in Paris. I’m super duper excited about that. And I’m a hard worker, so I got a lot of big things, some things I can't talk about just yet but stay tuned.