Kevin Costner Whitney Houston
Source YouTube: GQ, Whitney Houston

It’s been 12 years since the legendary singer Whitney Houston died suddenly at the age of 48, but she is still missed by millions of fans to this day. In a new interview, Houston’s former The Bodyguard co-star Kevin Costner is revealing why he refused to shorten his 17 minute eulogy for her.

Costner And Houston’s Friendship

Costner and Houston became good friends when they starred together in the classic 1992 movie The Bodyguard. The film tells the story of a singer (Houston) who has a stalker and falls in love with her bodyguard (Costner).

While appearing on the “Armchair Expert” podcast, Costner explained that the movie’s director Mick Johnson didn’t want Houston for the leading role. Costner was the one who convinced him to cast her.

“She was my choice…I picked her,” he recalled.

Check out a trailer for The Bodyguard in the video below.

‘I Was Her Imaginary Bodyguard’

Costner told Houston that since she couldn’t have her entourage on set, he would step up to protect her.

“And I don’t know what it was, but we had a moment, and I realized that the world had a higher idea of who we were, so I basically embraced it,” he said. “I was her imaginary bodyguard.”

Costner promised Houston that The Bodyguard would be a hit. Sure enough, it was, grossing nearly $122 million, according to Box Office Mojo. Houston’s cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” which she sang in the movie, also went on to win the Grammy for Record of the Year.

“And that was my promise to her,” Costner said. “She’s always gonna love me in the song. I was always gonna keep my promise to her.” 

Watch Houston perform “I Will Always Love You” in the video below.

Related: Kevin Costner Beat Out Robin Williams For Iconic ‘Field Of Dreams’ Role

Costner Refuses To Shorten Houston’s Eulogy

Twenty years after the movie’s release, Houston tragically died in an accidental drowning in a bathtub at the Beverly Hills Hotel. This came after years of drug abuse. “Cocaine and metabolites” were found in her system at the time of her death.

Dionne Warwick, Houston’s aunt, asked Costner to speak at the singer’s funeral. Initially, he was reluctant to do so, but he ultimately changed his mind. After spending a week writing the eulogy, Costner showed up at the funeral to deliver it.

When he was told that CNN, which was broadcasting the funeral live, wanted speakers to keep their speeches short so that they could cut to commercial breaks, Costner wasn’t having any of it.

“And I said, they can get over that,” Costner said. “They can play the commercial while I’m talking. I don’t care. But I’ve come here when I didn’t want, you know, I didn’t want to do two minutes.”

“And you said everything?” Costner was asked, to which he replied, “That I felt I needed to say.”

Check out Costner’s eulogy for Houston in the video below.

Related: Dolly Parton Teaming Up With Dionne Warwick For Gospel Duet

The chemistry that Houston and Costner shared was truly electric, so it comes as no surprise that they were close friends in real life. While it’s tragic that Houston died so long, she will always live on through her music and her work in The Bodyguard!

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