Whitney Houston's home going ceremony last February was filled with countless unforgettable and poignant moments of praise in honor of the late singer. One in particular, delivered by Houston's friend and Bodyguard co-star Kevin Costner, remains one of the ceremony's most touching, and in a recent interview with Anderson Cooper airing this May, the actor gives the backstory on his emotional speech.
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"The pressure began to mount and began to mount and there was the idea that maybe I would present a film clip at the Image Awards," he explained. "I thought Whitney is more to me than two or three lines, introducing a clip so to speak. So I said no."
Costner says he then resolved to avoid the limelight in regards to Whitney, however a call from Houston's cousin Dionne Warwick ultimately convinced the actor to contribute a few words in her honor at the pop star's funeral.
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"I could feel that Dionne was tired and she was broken and so much was falling on her and she said, 'Would you speak?' And I thought, I didn't hesitate…the minute she asked me I said 'Yes, I will speak.' There was a great relief on Dionne's part and then suddenly the whole pressure of the situation shifted to me, or at least I felt it did which is probably the wrong way to look at things, it was really about Whitney. When I said 'yes' I kind of panicked at that point, what in the world would I say?"
There was nary a dry eye in the house as Costner delivered his emotional speech that day, recalling the icon's beauty and spirit despite her recent trials and tribulations.
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"Whitney if you could hear me now, I would tell you, 'You weren't just good enough, you were great'," he began. "You sang the whole damn song without a band. A lot of leading men could have played my part, a lot of guys could have filled the role. Whitney I believe you were the only one that could have played Rachel Marron at that time. You were as beautiful as a woman could be. People didn't just like you Whitney, they loved you."
Watch the video for more of his interview including the actor's words of advice for Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina. Costner also sets the records straight on rumors of The Bodyguard sequel, starring none other than Princess Diana.
Anderson airs weekdays. Check your local listings.