Belfast Telegraph

Kevin Costner: I showed real Whitney

Kevin Costner wanted people to see Whitney Houston in a "different way" when he spoke at her funeral.

The singer died aged 48 in February. Kevin and Whitney were close friends and worked together on the 1992 movie The Bodyguard.

Kevin gave an emotional eulogy at Whitney's funeral and put a lot of thought into what he wanted to say about the superstar.

"It's unusual to watch the world talking about someone that you have a fairly unique relationship with. It's almost surreal. This little drumbeat began: 'You need to say something,'" he told Parade.

"My wife and I flew into New York on a Friday night, and the next day we went to the funeral. I was writing [my eulogy] on the plane, in the limo, in bed. It was important. When I first walked into that church, it was electric, man I started [speaking] with the idea that sometimes what you think life will be it won't be at all, and about what was real between Whitney and me, what we talked about I wanted to impart a bit of the Whitney that I knew, and maybe people could think about her in a different way."

Whitney was one of the music industry's greatest ever stars. She also battled drug abuse and Kevin wanted the world to know how vulnerable she was, despite her worldwide fame and talent.

"Oh, yes. I tried to identify it in my eulogy," he replied, when asked if he sensed Whitney's vulnerability. "I think about Whitney a little bit the way I think about the Kennedys. I know there's trouble, but I choose to think about a lot of other stuff. The trouble is as real as the achievement, but it does not tarnish it."

The 57-year-old actor also spoke about his desire to work with Whitney on the big screen. He knew she was the perfect choice to play Rachel Marron in The Bodyguard and was willing to delay filming the movie for her.

"You don't do that for everybody," Kevin said of postponing the film. "And it was a pretty seminal moment for Whitney. I was told that the movie made a big impression on the black community because I took Whitney in my arms and kissed her, not as a black woman but as a beautiful woman. That's how I saw her."

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