Kevin Costner Refused to Cut Short Emotional Eulogy for ‘Bodyguard’ Co-Star Whitney Houston

images 2024 06 06T043749.638

Kevin Costner is opening up about his close bond with Whitney Houston and honoring her legacy after her tragic death. The actor, who starred alongside Houston in the 1992 hit film The Bodyguard, recently revealed he had ignored requests to shorten his emotional eulogy for the legendary singer at her 2012 funeral.

In an interview on the Armchair Expert podcast, Costner recalled how he fought for Houston to be cast as the lead in The Bodyguard despite hesitation from the director. He developed a friendship and mentoring relationship with Houston on set.

“I made a promise to her – not to the director,” Costner said. “I had promised Whitney that she’d be good in it. And that was my promise to her.”

Their bond continued after filming wrapped, with Houston’s iconic Dolly Parton cover “I Will Always Love You” becoming inextricably linked to Costner.

“She’s always gonna love me in the song. I was always going to keep my promise to her,” he explained.

When Houston tragically passed away in 2012 at age 48 from an accidental drowning, her aunt Dionne Warwick asked Costner to speak at the memorial service. Though initially reluctant, he spent a week crafting a 17-minute eulogy to honor his friend.

However, when the time came, Kevin Costner refused network requests to cut his remarks short for commercial breaks during the live broadcast.

“Somebody said, ‘CNN’s here, they wouldn’t mind if your remarks were kept shorter because they’re going to have commercials,'” he recalled. “And I said, ‘They can get over that. They can play the commercial while I’m talking, I don’t care.'”

The Yellowstone star did not want to rush through memorializing Houston’s life and incredible talent. With the church “electric” with mourners, Kevin Costner took the time to deliver his full farewell message, undeterred by any broadcast constraints.

Watch Kevin Costner deliver his farewell speech at Whitney Houston’s funeral below.