Kevin Costner: Some people not happy I picked Whitney Houston for Bodyguard role

Kevin Costner has said some people disapproved of him choosing Whitney Houston to star opposite him in The Bodyguard because she was black.

The American actor and the late songstress played a bodyguard and a pop singer who fall in love in the 1992 romantic thriller, which grossed more than 400 million US dollars at the box office and has become a cult classic.

But Kevin told Square Mile: “Some people weren’t happy that I picked Whitney Houston to be my love interest in The Bodyguard.

“And that I kissed her; who wouldn’t want to kiss her?”

Whitney Houston (Fiona Hanson/PA)

Kevin, 62, suspects those critics were equally opposed to him starring in new film Hidden Figures, which tells the true story of African-American women mathematicians who played a vital role in the early years of the US space programme.

“I don’t think those people were happy that I would do Hidden Figures,” he said.

The actor said prejudice was evident when he was a child growing up near Los Angeles and still exists today.

Kevin Costner on the Square Mile cover (Square Mile)

He said: “I said the N-word a thousand times as a child. That’s how you talked.

“But there comes a moment when you choose how you are going to be yourself.

“All of a sudden, telepathically you knew that word wasn’t funny; it fell flat like a coke that had no more bubbles in it, and it was gone, eliminated.”

Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard (United Archives/DPA)

The Oscar-winning director said films such as Hidden Figures are still relevant in the new era of US president Donald Trump’s America.

“Racism is alive and well in America,” he said.

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s there, and all I can try to do is make my choices and educate my children.”

Square Mile is released on February 14. For more details click here.

More in this Section

All of the most dramatic, sparkly and naked looks from the Fashion Awards 2018

Shaun the Sheep abducted by aliens in Farmageddon film teaser

Irish star Dermot Kennedy makes BBC's Sound of 2019 longlist

Amy Winehouse’s ex-husband speaks out about their relationship and drug use


5 Christmas foods that go back further than you think – and 1 that doesn’t

Strictly Come Dancing: 7 backstage beauty secrets from Tess Daly’s make-up artist

Christmas visitors, log fires and central heating overload – how will your houseplants survive?

6 natural hangover remedies to save you the morning after the office Christmas party

More From The Irish Examiner