Kevin Costner Remembers Whitney

Whitney Houston's co-star on the The Bodyguard, Kevin Costner, remembered his friend with a moving speech at her funeral.

Kevin Costner remembers Whitney Houston

One of the most memorable — and eloquent — speeches at Whitney Houston's funeral came courtesy of her film co-star, Kevin Costner. The 57-year-old actor took to the church podium in Newark, New Jersey to remember The Bodyguard actress — she might have been a diva, but she was just as self-conscious as everyone else.

"At the height of her fame as a singer I asked her to be my co-star in a movie called The Bodyguard. I thought she was the perfect choice, but the red flags came out immediately. 'Maybe I should think this over a bit.' I was reminded that this would be her first acting role. 'We could also think about another singer,' was a suggestion. Maybe somebody white. Nobody ever said it out loud, but it was a fair question, it was," he told the invite-only funeral.

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"There would be a lot riding on this — maybe a more experienced person was the way to go. It was clear, I needed to think about this. I told everyone that I had taken notice that Whitney was black. The only problem was, I thought she was perfect for what we were trying to do. There was a bit of a relief in the room when we found out that Whitney was going to be on tour and she wouldn't be available for our movie. The anxiety came right back when I said we should postpone and wait a year."

Eventually, Houston was cast in the hit film.

"That was a lot for the studio to accept, and to their credit, they did, but not without a screen test. Whitney would have to earn it. That was the first time I saw the doubt. The doubt creep into her that she would not be handed the part. She would have to be great. The day the test came and I went into her trailer after the hair and makeup people were done, Whitney was scared. Arguably, the biggest pop star in the world wasn't sure if she was good enough," he remembered.

The film ended up grossing nearly $411 million worldwide and spawned Houston's biggest hit, "I Will Always Love You."

Costner then turned his words directly to his friend.

"You weren't just pretty, you were as beautiful as a woman could be. People didn't just like you, Whitney. They loved you. I was your pretend bodyguard once not so long ago, and now you're gone, too soon, leaving us with memories — memories of a little girl that stepped bravely in front of this church, in front of the ones that loved you first. In front of the ones that loved you best and loved you the longest. The bolder you stepped into the white-hot light of the world stage, and what you did is the rarest of achievements," he said.

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"You set the bar so high that professional singers, your own colleagues, they don't want to sing that little country song. What would be the point? Now, the only ones who sings your songs are young girls like you, who are dreaming of being you some day. And so to you, Bobbi Kristina and to all those young girls who are dreaming that dream, that maybe thinking, are they good enough? I think Whitney would tell you, 'Guard your bodies, guard the precious miracle of your own life, and then sing your hearts out,' knowing that there's a lady in heaven who is making God himself wonder how he created something so perfect."

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"So off you go, Whitney, off you go. Escorted by an army of angels to your heavenly father, and when you sing before him, don't worry... you'll be good enough."

Image courtesy

What do you think of Kevin Costner's speech at Whitney Houston's funeral?


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Comments on "Kevin Costner's touching tribute to Whitney Houston"

Nokuphiwa January 26, 2013 | 3:32 PM

Thank you Ron Raj for your comment. . Mr Costner's tribute to Whitney, was for me the best and most beautiful, truly genuine and heartfelt. Tears streamed down my face the whole time. It was a strange feeling, cause I never in my wildest dreams thought Mr Costner's tribute would be one that chokes me in the throat and captured how we felt about our beloved Whitney. . We loved her so much. RIP Ms Houston

Tooda August 04, 2012 | 9:34 AM

The comments were appropriate, actually I was reduced to tears. I have watched the movie several times and each time it gets better. I watched Whitney in a later movie (Waiting to ex-hale)and I thought that some of the street in her started to come out. What Kevin stated was that, his movie was her first and she was most appropriate for the part. His reflection was moving.

Bruce Sanborn February 19, 2012 | 3:17 AM

Kevin Costner-Yeah, so God is standing there saying "I know I had a hand in the creation of Whitney Houston, but even I didn't think I was that good." And when you mention- THE KISS- you bring up the reason I can be jealous of a movie star-practice is one thing, but sometimes you just gotta wanna wanna wanna keep practicing.

ogy kama February 18, 2012 | 10:52 PM

I fear after she died people would only remember the troubles that trailed her in recent years but before then...whitney was magic.a legend and a girl just trying to fit in like everyone else. Will always love you whitney...may the angels guide you into paradise.

Micki February 18, 2012 | 7:35 PM

It was a fine and fitting tribute to Whitney Houston. Clearly, Mr. Costner understood her underlying feelings, fears and insecurities. Greatness comes with extraordinary burdens.. and she had more than her share. Some can manage these burdens well and others cannot. Still we are grateful for having experienced many wonderful moments delivered to us by the magnificence found only in Whitney's God-given gift of song. The world is better for her having been here for a short time. That is the true measure of a life well-lived afterall. Kevin Costner knew understood that. May we all pray that she rest in peace..

Ron Raj February 18, 2012 | 6:48 PM

It was the most unexpected tributes of all times. It was bold, practical and managed emotions at best when delivered. So genuine and clearly from the heart, Kevin touched the hearts of not only at the Church laden with 1500 strong invitees only but the 100's of millions world over.... The start and anchoring of the tribute was commendable, interspersed with humor to lighten the grieved hearts!

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