We Were All Rooting For Her Triumphant Return
Having just watched this very moving funeral service, I want us to remember some of the highlights of the life and career of Whitney Houston. I just reworked this post as I was saving to publish until March, but hearing Kevin Costner speak today reiterated some of the basic messaging we cover in this forum.
Costner offered such insight into Houston and many learned how much he went to bat for her to be cast opposite him in The Bodyguard. The movie had been considered for Ryan O’Neal and Diana Ross as leads way back in the late 70’s. Costner discussed some of the background of how the film got made in the following interview. He selected Whitney Houston. Costner was the hottest male A-List actor at the time and had his pick of any actress to work with. What most didn’t know was he waited one year for Houston to be available to film it. It was HIS project and Houston was untested in the film industry at that time. The “other” singer not mentioned by name that the studio wanted was Madonna.
Of course they were concerned about finding the right female lead. Of course some executives initially put up a fight about casting a black woman, but Costner was far too open-minded to not notice her beauty and talent. If you recall in the concert film, Truth or Dare Madonna made fun of Costner on camera. That may have eliminated her despite the fact she later apologized while lobbying for the role. Regardless, Costner had already made his choice of leading lady and eventually the studio relented. He pursued, Houston accepted and the rest is history.
Houston and her team had to be willing to experiment moving into untested waters as well. Clive Davis also confirmed his concern over her transition to film during his speech at Houston’s funeral. These types of deals moving into a cross-section of media, television and film are set up more quickly today, but it was a much riskier and bigger leap then.
Costner also chose Dolly Parton’s song I Will Always Love You because he was a fan of hers. Of course no one could have predicted this cover would become an instant classic. One we still enjoy twenty years later! I can’t imagine any other song in that movie. It was a great story about two people who happened to be different races, versus being an interracial love story. I just saw them as a man and woman who were adults, flaws and all. They didn’t end up together (which always left me dissatisfied), but there was mutual respect as well. Perhaps there was a little something extra present? I noticed when Costner said in the video:
I kissed her once for everyone in America.
I kissed her once for myself.
Hello! When I can get a replay or transcript of his speech from the funeral I’ll add it (updated with video). What he said about her questioning herself and whether people would approve of her is very telling. Reading Twitter feedback from random folks the general consensus is Costner clearly has always thought very highly of Houston. Some surmise he may have been in love with her.
Which brings me to the larger point. Some are still not listening to or lying about the existence of some rather obvious messages. Men want women. Women who are confident, put together and open. I can imagine how a clever woman could position herself to be the business and/or romantic partner of an enterprising man like a Kevin Costner and the things they would create, including building a life together. I imagine an alternate universe where this funeral would have happened at minimum 30 years in the future and Houston (and other black women) had the support and encouragement from people who are looking out for their interests. Far beyond an acting role.
It is more than a possibility. It is reality. It is happening. It will continue to happen. For some women. Just as soon as you throw off shackles people are trying to enslave you with! Why not more black women? Don’t let Houston’s death and the underlying causes that have negatively impacted the majority of black women (HIV, OOW, never-married rates), denigration, wealth redistribution and diminished quality of lives that end too soon become your story. Flip the script.
Nobody else is going to be honest in addressing the elephant in the room. I read Bobby Brown didn’t like his seating arrangements and cut up at his ex-wife’s funeral. After everything that has happened it appears he couldn’t make his daughter’s needs a priority. And some people will still make excuses for him. He lives while Whitney does not. Parasites kill their hosts. Save yourself – it’s up to you!
Costner Houston Funeral Speech