CNN asked Kevin Costner to 'cut down' Whitney Houston eulogy for TV broadcast

Kevin Costner refused to shorten his eulogy at Whitney Houston's funeral, despite requests from TV networks.



Kevin Costner refused to shorten his eulogy at Whitney Houston's funeral
Kevin Costner refused to shorten his eulogy at Whitney Houston's funeral

Kevin Costner has revealed CNN tried to get him to cut down his eulogy at Whitney Houston's funeral.

The 69-year-old actor was one of eight people who spoke at his late 'Bodyguard' co-star's funeral after she died aged 48 in February 2012, and he wasn't going to budge when the broadcaster tried to get involved and shorten his speech.

Speaking to Dax Shepard on the 'Armchair Expert' podcast, he said: "I had been working on this speech… and I tried to compile everything I wanted to do and finally crafted this speech.

"Somebody said, 'CNN’s here, they wouldn't mind if your remarks were kept shorter because they’re going to have commercials.'

"I said, 'They can get over that. They can play the commercial while I’m talking, I don’t care.' "

It's unclear if the network - or any others - did cut any of his speech due to commercials, or if it was broadcast in full.

However, the 'Yellowstone' actor still remembers feeling uncomfortable in case he overran and upset other speakers or attendees.

He explained: "There were some people that really wanted to speak, and they’re kind of staring daggers at me. What was I going to say? I started, and about 17 minutes later I was done."

Other speakers at the funeral included Houston's friend and mentor Clive Davis, music director Rickey Minor, security guard Ray Watson, and her cousin Dionne Warwick.

She encouraged him to give the eulogy, but he was still worried.

He said: "I could feel the weight on her, now it’s shifted to me. What am I going to say about this little girl?

"[I] went back to that church in Newark, and it was filled. It was electric. There were two bands playing, the church was alive. It was like, boom!”

Kevin previously reflected on the film's success, and how Houston's rendition of 'I Will Always Love You' resonated with fans.

He told Entertainment Weekly in 2022: "She sang the first part of it a cappella and musically the world was never the same.

"We have a moment of her in that movie we’ll never ever forget that, and I think that when movies are working at their best, that’s what can happen.”