Sharon Leal’s character Cleo serenades the crowd in a scene with Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac in “Soul Men.”
“Bernie would do this great impression of Sam Jackson and he had him down,” she says of being on set with the comedian. “Bernie was good at keeping things rolling along with the long hours on set; he kept us entertained. We’ve lost a phenomenal guy and to watch his farewell performance is amazing.”
Leal, right, made her big-screen debut in the 2006 Oscar-nominated film “Dreamgirls.” She replaced Jennifer Hudson’s character Effie in the group and joined Deena (Beyoncé), center, and Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose).
Leal says many are surprised when they learn that her mother is Filipino.
“I started off with my first Broadway show, “Miss Saigon,” which doesn’t get any more Asian than that,” she says. “I won the Asian Excellence Award and I know people were like, Huh?, because they don’t know my mother is from the Philippines. Hopefully, there will be some kind of project where I can tap into that side [again].”