Kevin Costner fought hard for Whitney Houston to land the role of his leading lady in their 1992 blockbuster, “The Bodyguard,” and the actor traveled to New Jersey to pay tribute to his former co-star at her funeral on Saturday.
After recounting stories of their fun on the set, the 57-year-old actor told how Whitney, despite her supernova success, still doubted whether she was “good enough,” “pretty enough” — fears he attempted to quell.
“Whitney, if you could hear me now, I would tell you, ‘You weren’t just good, you were great,’” Kevin said of Whitney’s “The Bodyguard” performance at her funeral at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, NJ, on Saturday. “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, a lot of guys could’ve filled that role, but you, Whitney, I truly believe that you were the only one that could’ve played Rachel Marron at the 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.
“I was your pretend bodyguard once, not so long ago, and now you’re gone too soon, leaving us with memories of a little girl who stepped bravely in front of this church, in front of the ones that loved you first, in front of the ones that loved you best, and loved you the longest,” he added.
Kevin went on to sing Whitney’s praises regarding her incomparable vocal abilities, saying that as she stepped out of her church and into “the white hot light of the world stage,” she accomplished “the rarest of achievements.”
“You set the bar so high that professional singers, your own colleagues, they don’t want to sing that little country song – what would be the point?” Kevin said with a smile, referencing Whitney’s incredible cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You.” “Now, the only ones who sing your songs are little girls like you, who are dreaming of being you someday.
“And so to you, Bobbi Kristina, and all those young girls who are dreaming that dream and may be thinking they aren’t good enough, I think Whitney would tell you [to] guard your bodies and guard the precious miracle of your own life,” he continued. “And then sing your hearts out, knowing that there is a lady in heaven who is making God himself wonder how he created something so perfect.”
Standing at the podium with Whitney’s casket below, the actor concluded his touching tribute with an emotional sendoff to his late friend.
“So off you go, Whitney. Off you go, escorted by an army of angels and your heavenly Father,” he said. “And when you sing before him, don’t you worry – you’ll be good enough.”