The pair starred together in The Bodyguard and the actor spoke of his devastation at the loss of “the sweet miracle of Whitney”.
Speaking of his co-star’s nerves at accepting the role of Rachel Marron in the 1992 film, he said: “At the height of her singing fame I asked Whitney to star with me in a film called The Bodyguard. But the red flags came out immediately: “Maybe I should think this over a bit”.
“We could think of another singer, was the suggestion. Perhaps a white actress…with more experience.
“But…she was perfect for what we were trying to do.”
“There was a bit of a relief in the room when we found out that Whitney was going to be on tour and she wouldn’t be available for our movie. The anxiety came right back when I said we should postpone and wait a year.”
Costner also spoke of the day of Whitney’s screen test for the role; the studio had insisted that she prove herself as an actress before the project was held.
“She was scared, she didn’t think she looked right – there were a thousand things that were wrong.
“You weren’t just good enough, you were great. You sang the whole damn song without a band.
“You made the picture what it was. A lot of leading men could have played my part, a lot of guys could have filled that role. But you Whitney, I truly believe, were the only one who could have played Rachel Marron at that time. You weren’t just pretty. You were as beautiful as a woman could be.
“And people just didn’t like you, Whitney. They loved you.”
Listen to the whole speech below.