Kevin Costner talked about his promise to Whitney Houston

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Over 20 years after Kevin Costner starred opposite Whitney Houston in the 1992 classic film, The Bodyguard, the 69-year-old is looking back on his relationship with the late singer and his infamous eulogy at her funeral 20 years after they first met.
Costner claims that director Mick Johnson was “uncomfortable” with Houston as the leading lady, but Costner was determined to have the singer make her feature debut in the film.
Costner says that Houston “trusted him” in a way she didn’t anyone else on production.
“I started to guide her and I wasn’t trying to usurp my director, but l had made a promise to her,” he shares.
“I had promised Whitney that she’d be good in it…We had this movie that worked and that was my promise to her.
She’s always gonna love me in the song and I was always gonna keep my promise to her.”
Speaking with ET at the 2022 Oscars red carpet, Costner recalled of his time with Houston, “She was a really street-smart girl, she knew stuff.”
“That was my promise to her, that she’d look great and be great,” he added with a smile.

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Kevin Costner, 69, is reflecting on his relationship with the late singer Whitney Houston and his controversial eulogy at her funeral, which took place two decades after they first met, more than 20 years after the two starred together in the 1992 classic film The Bodyguard.

In a recent episode of the Armchair Expert podcast with Dax Shepard and Monica Padman, Costner talked about his relationship with Houston, who was just 29 years old when the movie debuted in theaters in November 1992. Despite receiving mixed reviews, the romantic drama, in which Houston played a famous singer with a stalker who falls in love with her bodyguard (Costner), was a huge box office hit, grossing $410 million worldwide.

The two-time Oscar winner claims, “She was my choice.”. “I selected her, I produced it, and I was the actor. “.”.

Though Costner was adamant that Houston make her feature debut in the movie, he claims that director Mick Johnson was “uncomfortable” with Houston playing the lead.

“Hey, Diana Ross was the first girl I ever thought was attractive. After seeing her on The Ed Sullivan Show, I decided to go because she was so attractive. I’m about ten years old. He tells Shepard and Padman, “I know what pretty is.”. It’s not like this huge mystery because I loved her. I therefore knew that she ought to be the chosen one. “.

Houston “trusted him,” according to Costner, in a way that she didn’t with anyone else on the set. He says, “I had a promise to her, so I started to mentor her. I wasn’t trying to usurp my director.”. “I had assured Whitney that she would look good in it. I promised her that we would make a successful movie. In the song, she promises to always love me, and I always pledge to honor that promise. “.

Over the years, Costner and Houston’s relationship remained close enough that in February 2012, the actor was asked to deliver a eulogy at her public memorial.

The actor admits to Shepard and Padman that Dionne Warwick persuaded him to accept the invitation to give a speech at the funeral instead of him accepting on his own.

“Yes, I just replied. I felt the weight shift to me from where it was on her. “And [then I] went back to that church in Newark and it was filled. What am I going to say about this little girl?” he recalls. “The feeling was electrifying. The church was packed, with two bands performing. It felt explosive.

While acknowledging that he didn’t feel prepared to deliver the speech, Costner jokes that he wanted to ask Oprah Winfrey and Diane Sawyer to deliver it in his place because they were in the audience.

“I’d been preparing this speech. And I attempted to gather all of my ideas before crafting this speech,” he adds. “Someone mentioned that since CNN was present, they wouldn’t object if you cut your remarks short to make room for their commercials. I responded, “They can move past that.”. While I’m speaking, they are free to play the commercial. ‘.

Costner continues, “And I started and about 17 minutes later I was done,” stating that he believed he had covered all he “needed to say” in that time.

Among the eight speakers at Houston’s funeral was Costner. He revealed in his moving and highly acclaimed eulogy that “I Will Always Love You” was not the first song chosen for The Bodyguard, but rather “What Becomes of a Broken Heart.”. “.

What happens to our broken hearts, he questioned. “Today, Whitney goes back to the place where it all started, and I implore everyone—inside and outside, across the country and the globe—to wipe away our tears, hold back our grief and maybe even our rage, for just a little while longer, in order to honor Whitney’s wonderful miracle. “.

The Bodyguard soundtrack, which Whitney co-executive produced and recorded six new songs for, was even more successful. She went platinum eighteen times with her version of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” which continues to be one of the best-selling physical singles of all time. In 1994, the performance earned her the Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Album of the Year. The RIAA went on to name the album the best-selling Soundtrack Album of the Century.

Costner reminisced about his time with Houston to ET while speaking on the red carpet at the 2022 Oscars, saying, “She was a really street-smart girl; she knew stuff.”. “.

Costner continued, “She wasn’t sure she could handle it, but I knew she could handle the part.”. She had to make a choice at one point, and I saw that she trusted me. From then on, we had that. “.”.

He grinned and said, “That was my promise to her, that she’d look great and be great.”. The movie went on to become an international box office hit and receive two Oscar nominations, one for Best Original Song.

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