Kevin Costner Defies Pressure To Shorten Whitney Houston Eulogy For Commercials

(Photo by Michael Caulfield/WireImage)

Mariane Angela Entertainment And News Reporter
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Kevin Costner reflected on the emotional experience of delivering the eulogy at Whitney Houston’s funeral during a Monday appearance on the “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard” podcast.

Houston, who died Feb. 11, 2012, was not only a legendary singer but also Costner’s co-star in the 1992 film “The Bodyguard.” Costner opened up about the immense pressure he felt to honor Houston properly. He shared that initially, he was reluctant to speak publicly about her passing, preferring to mourn privately. However, as the demand for him to make a statement grew, he eventually agreed to speak at her funeral after being personally contacted by Dionne Warwick, who was organizing the memorial.

“I eulogized her and I didn’t want to,” Costner told Dax Shepard on the podcast. “When she passed away, there was a steady drumbeat to hear. You know, she was such a big personality that everybody was going on the air talking. And that was not my first instinct.” (RELATED: ‘My Body Started Shutting Down’: Bobby Brown Opens Up About Past Battle With Alcohol)

Costner described the atmosphere inside the Newark church on the day of the funeral as electric, filled with music and a palpable energy. Despite the vibrant setting and the large crowd, Costner felt out of place and under pressure, especially when someone approached him with a request to shorten his 17-minute eulogy to accommodate commercial breaks for CNN’s live coverage.

“Somebody said, ‘CNN’s here,’” he recalled. “They wouldn’t mind if your remarks were kept shorter because they’re going to have commercials.’ And I said, ‘They can get over that. They can play the commercial while I’m talking, I don’t care.’”

During the podcast, Costner also reminisced about his relationship with Houston, highlighting the special connection they shared on and off the screen.

“I don’t know what it was, but we had a moment and I realized that the world had a higher idea of who we were, so I basically embraced it,” he said. “I was her imaginary bodyguard.”