Kevin Costner on Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston is said to be “waning in terms of her popularity” when her name came up as a possible co-star/romantic partner for Kevin Costner in The bodyguardthe hit drama that opened 30 years ago today, November 25, 1992.

“It wasn’t her ‘i’ moment,” Costner told Yahoo Entertainment of the late pop icon during a 2014 Role revocation interview (see clip above). “It didn’t really matter to me. I just thought she was the perfect choice.”

The Oscar-winning actor and filmmaker also revealed that race was a factor that kept the parties involved from casting the pop star in the role of Rachel Marron, a music superstar who becomes romantically involved with her bodyguard (Costner’s Frank Farmer) while standing in the face of threats from a stalker.

“Everybody pointed out to me that she was black, which I knew,” he said.

“It might have been easier two years earlier, when she was at her peak. But after that movie, she became, I think, one of the biggest stars in the world.”

In fact, Houston, who battled drug addiction later in his career and died in 2012, two years after releasing his third consecutive hit, the 1990s I’m your baby tonight. She had also never appeared in a film before. Costner was undoubtedly at the height of his career, having dominated the Oscars with Dances with Wolves.

“I just think people are trying to throw [who] they think is the best person, and sometimes the feeling was, ‘Well, let’s cast a real actress, that might be the best thing for the movie,'” said Costner, whose string of hits at the time had included Bull Durham (1988) and Field of dreams (1989). “It’s like faking being a good baseball player. When you see one of our world-class actresses faking being a great singer, it doesn’t seem right.

“So I really felt we had to go for a real singer. It didn’t matter if she was black or white. The fact that she was black didn’t matter to me.”

Costner can currently be seen in Paramount Network’s hit Western Yellowstone.

Houston will get the Hollywood biopic treatment next month with the release of I want to dance with someonestarring Naomi Ackie.

See our entire Role revocation interview with Kevin Costner:

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