Kevin Costner was among the famous faces who paid tribute to Whitney Houston at her funeral on Saturday in Newark, N.J., which was telecast live on multiple networks.
Costner and Houston co-starred together in The Bodyguard in 1992, and Houston's performance of the Dolly Parton-penned I Will Always Love You immortalized the song and secured her status as a legend.
In his tribute, Costner discussed the resistance met with his suggestion to cast Houston in the role, explaining that some involved in the project wanted to cast a white actress, and one with more experience. The Bodygaurd was Houston's first film role, and it let to roles in future films.
According to Costner, Whitney, too had her doubts. He recalled her screen test, when she removed the makeup applied by the production's make-up artists, and re-applied her own -- not realizing that it would melt under the hot lights. They had to interrupt the screen test after about four lines, Costner said.
After briefly denying that she done anything in her trailer during the time asked to be alone, Whitney confessed to redoing her makeup because she wanted to look her best.
In her now infamous with Diane Sawyer in 2002, Houston admitted she was so intimidated by then opportunity that she sometimes felt she should quit, concerned that she was not up to the task.
She needn't have worried.
You sang the whole damn song without a band. You made the picture what it was, Costner said. A lot of leading men could have played my part... But you Whitney, I truly believe, were the only one who could have played Rachel Marron at that time.
Costner also pointed out that he and Whitney actually had a lot in common, acknowledging with a joke that such a claim probably seemed rather dubious to most. But Costner, like Houston, was raised in a Baptist church and both actors continued to embrace their faith as adults.
Whitney returns home today to the place where it all began, Costner concluded, encourager fellow mourners to dry our tears, suspend our sorrow, and perhaps our anger, to remember the sweet miracle of Whitney.