As Kevin Costner arrived at the podium to talk at Whitney Houston's funeral, he said "This feels right."
The actor, who was speaking from Newark's New Hope Baptist Church about the late, great singer who died at 48 on February 11, was full of memories of the star he cast in his film and where the song, I Will Always Love You, was first sung by Whitney, becoming Houston's anthem from then on.
Kevin Costner compared his life to that of his co-star, saying that the two had a plenty in common. He spoke up about this thought, saying, "I know a lot of people are thinking: 'Really? She's a girl, you're a boy. You're white, she's black.'"
And that was true, as it was true that both were artists. But there was much more than show business linking these two. Kevin reminded the crowd that he, too, was a member of a Baptist church when growing up and that this was a subject he talked about with Whitney on many occasions.
And then Costner talked about how, when Whitney was at the top of the charts, he requested her for The Bodyguard. This was not an easy proposition for Warner Bros. to grant since the film would need to be delayed for an entire year before Houston would be free to take on her first film. Until then, she would be touring.
"It was a lot for the studio to accept and to their credit they did, but not without [conducting] a screen test. Whitney would have to earn it," said Costner who elaborated, saying that the singer was afraid of this step and that she "wasn't sure if she as good enough. I held her hand and told her... that everyone wanted her to be successful."
Well, she won over the studio and that part "made her great," commented Costner, who also said that it was that casting "that [also] caused her to stumble..."
At that point, Kevin's sensitive side came out in full force as he teared up to say, "Whitney, if you could hear me now I would tell you [that] you weren't just good enough, you were great."
And then he sent his friend a final message, saying, "Off you go, Whitney, escorted by an army of angels and your Heavenly Father. When you stand before Him, don't you worry. You'll be good enough."
Kevin Costner, like so many other famous people, loved Whitney Houston. He was a soul mate and he was in synch with this very special talent. When everyone stood for the Bodyguard actor after he spoke during her homily, they stood for his co-star too.
RIP, Whitney Houston, RIP.