Kevin Costner Reveals Poignant Promise To Whitney Houston From Over Three Decades Ago

Jun 06, 2024 by apost team

Kevin Costner has been a major Hollywood movie star for over four decades. He made his acting debut in “Sizzle Beach, U.S.A.” It was filmed in the late 1970s but wasn’t released until after Costner had already made it big in the industry through films such as “Silverado,” “The Untouchables” and “No Way Out.” But 1988’s “Bull Durham” and 1989’s “Field of Dreams” took Costner’s fame to stratospheric levels.

Throughout his career, Costner has shown an incredible range in thrillers, blockbusters, and westerns, and he has even gone behind the camera. The multi-talented star’s first stint as a director came with “Dances With Wolves.” The film was a commercial and critical success and proved Costner had the movie-making chops, both on and off-screen. 

Although Costner has an extensive filmography, he’s most memorable to this day because of his role in “The Bodyguard,” in which he starred with the late Whitney Houston. The 1992 romantic thriller drama film starred Costner and Houston, and it was the music icon’s acting debut, along with Gary Kemp, Bill Cobbs and Ralph Waite.

The film became a pop culture phenomenon, bringing widespread acclaim to one of Houston’s biggest hits, "I Will Always Love You.” It became the second-highest-grossing film of 1992, and its accompanying soundtrack became the best-selling soundtrack album of all time and received a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. 

Decades after the film’s release, Costner fondly remembered his time with his late costar. In a podcast episode with Dax Sheppard and Monica Padman, Costner revealed that he was the one who chose Houston for the role, even with director Mick Jackson's initial apprehension. Keep reading to learn more about Costner’s time with Houston and his promise to the songstress before they started filming. 

Whitney Houston, Kevin Costner (1990), (IMAGO/Everett Collection)

Despite the film’s success at the box office, critics gave “The Bodyguard” a rather lukewarm review. 

“To say that Houston and Costner fail to strike sparks would be putting it mildly,” Entertainment Weekly said of the film. “The movie gives us these two self-contained celebrity icons working hard to look like they want each other. It's like watching two statues attempting to mate."

The film even received seven Golden Raspberry Award nominations, including Worst Picture, Worst Actor for Costner, Worst Actress and Worst New Star for Houston. On the other hand, its masterful soundtrack received significant acclaim, 

Two of the songs from the film, "Run to You" and "I Have Nothing,” were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Meanwhile, the soundtrack was nominated for five Grammy Awards and won three – “Run To You” and “I Have Nothing” were nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television, while “I Will Always Love You” won Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Female, and the soundtrack won Album of the Year. 

When Costner graced the red carpet of the 94th Academy Awards in 2022, he fondly recalled his experience working with Houston. 

“She was a really street-smart girl, she knew stuff,” he told Entertainment Tonight."I knew she could handle the part but she wasn't sure she could handle it. ... There came a moment where she had to make a decision and I saw her trust me and we had that, from that moment on."

Kevin Costner (2024), (IMAGO/Starface)

In a June 2024 appearance on the Armchair Expert podcast with Shepard and Padman, Costner extensively discussed the time “The Bodyguard” was still in the pre-production phase. According to Costner, Houston was his “choice" for the film. 

“So I was the actor, I produced it and I picked her,” he recalled of his decision.

However, Jackson, the director, was “uncomfrotable” with his choice, but Costner insisted and trusted his gut, and pushed for Houston to make her movie debut in his film. Costner added that Houston had “trusted” him in the set more than anyone else. 

“I started to guide her and I wasn’t trying to usurp my director, but l had made a promise to her,” he added. “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.”

After the movie wrapped filming, the two became close friends. In fact, Costner was one of the few people who gave a eulogy at Houston’s funeral in 2012. Although he was skeptical about speaking in front of everyone, believing that others were more deserving of the opportunity, Costner spoke for 17 minutes honoring the late music icon. 

“Whitney returns home today to the place where it all began, and I urge us all, inside and outside, across the nation and around the world, to dry our tears, suspend our sorrow – and perhaps our anger – just long enough, just long enough to remember the sweet miracle of Whitney,” he said in his speech. 

Whitney Houston (1993), (IMAGO/Everett Collection)

Have you seen “The Bodyguard”? What can you say about Kevin Costner’s promise to Whitney Houston? Let us know, and pass this on to your family, friends and other Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston fans out there!

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