Jordin Sparks has the acting bug. Bad. After finishing her first feature film, “Sparkle,” co-starring the late Whitney Houston, the singer (the last female “American Idol” winner until Candice Glover, in fact) is focusing her energies on acting.
Sparks stars in tonight’s (Nov. 20) episode of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” called “Check In Check Out,” as a teacher involved in a murder investigation at a motel. For the self-proclaimed “CSI” superfan, it was an incredibly exciting job to get. Zap2it talked to her about the episode and her future acting plans.
Zap2it: So how did this whole thing come about?
Sparks: I was actually auditioning for a couple of other things and one of the people who was in that room when I auditioned does “CSI.” I noticed a whole bunch of [“CSI” scripts on the table]. I started freaking out because I was so excited. I told her, “I’m such a huge fan of the show.” And she was like “Really? You are?” And I said, “Yeah, I would love to be on it one day.” And she goes, “Well I am actually doing [this episode].” And I said, “Well, put in a good word for me.” I wasn’t really thinking that anything would happen. So then my agent called me and said “Hey, we secured an audition for you for ‘CSI'” and I just was so excited. I was really nervous because I’m such a big fan of the show so when I was sitting waiting to go into the audition my heart was pounding. They called me back and it worked out and I got to do the show! It was so. Much. Fun. I just loved it.
What’s your character like?
Oh! How do I do this [without spoiling anything]? I will say that I am a victim and a suspect all at the same time. My character, when you first see you kind of are just like, “Yeah, she’s crazy.” I was covered in blood, which was super fun for me because being a fan of the show I’ve always wanted to be the character that’s covered in blood and gore and all that stuff. We shot it in California and it was pretty cold that night and the fake blood was so sticky my fingers were sticking together. What happens in the episode is there have been multiple murders at this same place, and they’re trying to fit them together. Is it haunted? Is there a serial killer here? But every murder is different so they’re trying to come to a conclusion and figure it out. I’m involved in some of the shenanigans that go on there.
Anything specific you can share?
It was pretty challenging because there was an emotional scene that I had to do. We had a few minutes while they were switching the camera around and it was going to face me. I was so ecstatic to be on set some place that I was such a huge fan of but I had to stay focused on the emotional connection that I needed, so for those ten minutes I was just in this dark corner trying to get myself to cry. I was thinking of the saddest things I could ever think of. It was not a fun place to be. I hope that I nailed it because I was really emotional.
After “Sparkle,” is acting something you really want to do?
Yeah. I’ve always loved anything that falls under the creative umbrella — dancing, acting, music, painting, cooking. When I was younger I loved doing both [acting and singing]. I did a lot of community theater when I was in school, drama club in high school. That’s pretty much the extent of everything because then “Idol” took off, but I love doing it. It’s so fun to be able to dive into someone else’s world and play another character and get into what they’re doing and what they’re thinking and what their experiences are. It’s nice because with music, everything is me. It’s my experiences and my fashion choices and my emotions and whatever I’m feeling that day. It’s nice to be able to go ‘I’m going to go over here and be Alice and dive into her world.’ I really love that, and yes, I’ve been bitten by the bug and I love doing it.
What else is in the works?
I have the Lifetime movie [“Dear Secret Santa,” airing Nov. 30] and “CSI.” In addition to filming the Christmas movie this summer I filmed two other movies. One of them is called “The Grace of Jake” and that’ll be out next year. And the other one is starring Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, myself, and a few other amazing actors, and it’s called “Left Behind,” and that should be out hopefully next summer. I think that’s what they’re aiming for, so keep an eye out for that.
“CSI” airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.