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Costner tells of Houston race factor over ‘Bodyguard’

Feb. 19, 2012 - 17:21 By

U.S. actor Kevin Costner on Saturday said his “Bodyguard” co-star Whitney Houston was almost overlooked for the role because of her color and lack of acting experience.

Costner told the singer’s funeral service that while he thought Houston was perfect for the part of pop star Rachel Marron, the movie’s producers cautioned that a white and more experienced actress might be more suitable.

“The red flags came out immediately. Maybe I should think this over a bit,”

Costner said, noting that though Houston was at the height of her fame as a singer she had yet to appear on the big screen.

“We could also think about another singer, was a suggestion. Maybe somebody white. Nobody ever said it out loud, but it was a fair question,” Costner recalled.

“I told everyone that I had taken notice that Whitney was black. The only problem was, I thought 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.”

But “to their credit,” movie producers Warner Brothers backed Costner’s instinct, he said. The film went on to become an international blockbuster, although not before Houston had overcome her own doubts about taking on the role, including the use of a screen test.

“The day of the test came and I went into her trailer after the hair and makeup people were done. Whitney was scared. Arguably the biggest pop star in the world wasn’t sure if she was good enough.

“She didn’t think she looked right. There were a thousand things to her that seemed wrong. I held her hand and told her that she looked beautiful. I told her that I would be with her every step of the way,” Costner said.

Houston even aborted the first take after only a few lines of dialogue and returned to her trailer before regaining her composure and trying again.

“A half hour later she went back in to do her screen test and the studio fell in love with her. The Whitney I knew, despite her success and worldwide fame, still wondered am I good enough?” Costner said.

And the movie’s hit track “I Will Always Love You,” arguably Houston’s signature song, almost never came to be, the actor told the service.

“It wasn’t supposed to be in the movie. The first choice was going to be “What Becomes of a Broken Heart?” but it had been out the year before in another movie and we felt that it wouldn’t have the impact,” Costner said.

“I urge us all inside and outside, across the nation and around the world, to dry our tears, suspend our sorrow and perhaps our anger just long enough, just long enough to remember the sweet miracle of Whitney,” he added. (AFP)


<한글 기사>

휘트니 휴스턴, ‘보디가드’ 출연 못할 뻔

흑인에다 연기 경험 전무해 다른 배우 고려

지난 11일 비극적으로 삶을 마감한 가수 고(故) 휘트니 휴스턴이 전세계적으로 흥행한 영화 “보디가드”에 출연하지 못할 뻔 했다는 사실이 밝혀졌다.

휴스턴의 고향인 미국 뉴저지주 뉴호프에서 엄수된 이날 장례식에서 “보디가드”의 주연배우 케빈 코스트너는 당시 영화를 제작했던 워너 브라더스 사가 여주인공 역할로 좀 더 연기경험이 있는 백인배우를 원했다고 말했다.

그러나 그는 그럼에도 불구하고 휴스턴이 주인공 레이첼 마론 역할에 완벽하게 맞는 배우였다고 말했다.

“휘트니가 순회공연을 떠나서 우리 영화에 출연 못한다는 걸 알게 됐을 때 다들 안도하는 분위기였죠. 그런데 제가 1년만 (영화제작을) 연기하고 기다리자고 하자 다시 걱정하기 시작하더군요,”라고 코스트너는 회고했다.

그는 휴스턴이 영화를 찍으면서 처음엔 굉장히 불안해했다고 전했다. 심지어 첫 촬영에서 대사 몇 줄만을 읊은 뒤 대기실로 들어가버린 적도 있었다고 했다.

“그녀가 스스로 잘못했다고 생각하는 것이 수천 가지는 있었어요. 전 그녀의 손을 잡고 아름답다고 말해줬죠. 제가 모든 단계를 함께 할 것이라고요,”라고 코스트너는 말했다.

영화의 주제곡이자 휘트니 휴스턴의 가장 유명한 곡 중 하나인 “아이 윌 올웨이즈 러브 유(I Will Always Love You)”가 삽입되지 못할 뻔한 사연도 밝혀졌다. 코스트너는 원래 주제곡 후보로 “왓 비컴즈 오브 브로큰 하트 (What Becomes of Broken Heart?”가 떠올랐지만 이 노래가 1년 전에 다른 영화의 주제곡으로 사용되었기 때문에 보류되었다고 말했다.