“Whitney returns home today to the place where it all began and I urge us all inside and outside, across the nation and around the world to dry our tears and suspend our sorrow and perhaps our anger, just long enough to remember the sweet miracle of Whitney.
[Whitney] and i had a lot in common. I know many are thinking at this moment, ‘Really?’ … So what am I talking about? Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, they don’t have anything in common at all. Well, you’d be wrong about that. We both grew up in the baptist church.
Wasn’t as big as this. My grandmother played the piano and she led the choir and her two daughters, my mom and my aunt, both sang in it … I watched my father and the rest of the men build it from the ground up.
The church was the center of our social life and Whitney and I would laugh, knowing it was also the place where you could get in big trouble … It was easy for us to laugh, the church was what we knew. It was our private bond.”
Costner goes on to tell some humorous stories about himself in church as a young boy. Then he turns back to Whitney and “The Bodyguard” and how she had to screen test for the role.
“Whitney would have to earn it. That was the first time I saw the doubt, the doubt creep into her that she would not be handed the part. She would have to be great.
The day of the test came … Whitney was scared. Arguably the biggest pop star in the world wasn’t sure if she was good enough. She didn’t think she looked right. There were a thousand things to her that seemed wrong. I held her hand, told her she looked beautiful, that everyone there wanted her to succeed.
I wanted to tell her that the game was rigged. That I didn’t care how the test went. That she could fall down or starting speaking in tongues, that somehow I would find a way to explain it as an extraordinary acting choice and we could expect more to follow. And gee, weren’t we lucky to have her.
We hadn’t said four lines when we had to stop. The lights were turned off and I walked Whitney off the set and back to her room. She wanted to know what was wrong. And I needed to know what she had done during those 20 minutes. She said, ‘Nothing.’ In only a way that she could. So I turned her around so she could see herself int he mirror and she gasped. All the makeup on Whitney’s face was running, it was streaking down her face. And she was devastated.
She didn’t feel like the makeup we’d put on her was enough, so she’d wiped it off and put on the makeup that she was used to wearing inn her music videos. It was much thicker. And the hot lights had melted it.
She seemed so small and sad at the moment and I asked her why she did it. She said I just wanted to look my best. A half hour later she went back to do her screen test and the studio fell in love with her.”
Costner was definitely a highlight of the service, with some great stories to share.