(NEWARK, N.J.) — Kevin Costner’s tribute to Whitney Houston at her funeral played out like a Hollywood blockbuster: It made them laugh, cry, stand up, and cheer. He shared many anecdotes about Houston in his nearly 20-minute long speech, the most touching of which was probably recounting how he fought for her to be in their movie, The Bodyguard.
“I thought she was the perfect choice but the red flags came out immediately,” he said. “I was reminded that this would be her first acting role. You could also think about another singer, was the suggestion — maybe somebody white. Nobody ever said it out loud, but it was a fair question, it was. There would be a lot riding on this. Maybe a more experienced actor was the way to go.”
“I told everyone that I had taken notice that Whitney was black,” Costner said. “The only problem was that I thought she was perfect for what we were trying to do.”
He ended up postponing the movie for a year so that Houston could wrap up her tour and star in it. But once filming started, Costner said, her insecurities took over.
“Arguably the biggest pop star in the world didn’t think she was good enough,” he said, recounting tears on the set as Houston questioned her makeup and voice.
“Whitney, if you could hear me now, I would tell you, you weren’t just good enough, you were great,” he said. “You sang the whole damn song without a band. You made the picture what it was. A lot of leading men could’ve played my part … but you, Whitney, I truly believe you were the only one who could’ve played Rachel Marron at that time. You weren’t just pretty; you were as beautiful as a woman could be. And people didn’t just like you Whitney, they loved you.”
He offered advice on behalf of Houston to her daughter and millions of other aspiring singers.
“To you, Bobbi Kristina, and to all those young girls who are dreaming that dream, thinking that maybe they aren’t good enough, I think Whitney would tell you, guard your bodies,” he said. “And guard the precious miracle of your own life. Then sing your hearts out. ”
He choked up towards the end. “Off you go Whitney, off you go,” he said. “Escorted by an army of angels to your heavenly father. When you sing before him, don’t you worry. You’ll be good enough.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Media Relations
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com
Lisa Respers France, CNN