Lifestyle & Human Interest

Kevin Costner Reveals Co-Star Whitney Houston Was Never Really on Iconic 'Bodyguard' Poster


Movie posters can be just as iconic as the films they promote. You may have grown up pasting movie posters to your bedroom wall — and perhaps you still do. Regardless, the best movie posters stick in our minds like pieces of memorable artwork.

When effective, posters can establish the mood of a film and draw us into theaters without giving too much away. The poster that promoted the 1992 film “The Bodyguard” was so romantic that fans still remember it.

The poster is relatively simple. In the black-and-white photo, the bodyguard Kevin Costner plays carries Whitney Houston‘s character out of a nightclub in the pouring rain.

However, Costner recently revealed a secret about that iconic poster that will change the way you look at it forever.

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The revelation is so shocking it’s almost unbelievable. Nevertheless, it’s true: Houston wasn’t even present on set when the picture was snapped.

“She had gone home and that was her double, and her head was buried into my shoulder, which was appropriate anyway. She was frightened,” Costner said.

The photo, which was taken during filming, was never meant to be used for promotion in the first place.  It was Costner himself who believed in the photo’s potential.

“That wasn’t even Whitney actually,” Costner told Entertainment Weekly. “I picked that picture out because my friend Ben Glass took it. I sent it to Warner Brothers and I go, ‘There’s the poster.’”

Costner believes the candid nature of the photo was what made it so “evocative.”

However, the movie studio was concerned that Houston’s face wasn’t visible. Producers believed audiences would be most interested in seeing the pop star on the big screen.

“They didn’t like it at first because you couldn’t see Whitney’s face,” Costner said.

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“And so they sent me like five mockups where they put her head [on it] where she’s looking [out]. I said ‘Guys, I think we had it the first time.’”

The film’s executives were quickly proved wrong about the photo’s appeal.  “The Bodyguard” went on to gross $411 million, and Houston’s featured cover of “I Will Always Love You” is catchy even today.

Although Costner wasn’t carrying Houston on the movie’s poster, you can rest easy knowing that the two shared chemistry both onscreen and behind the scenes.

Costner was even among the celebrities who spoke at Houston’s funeral in 2012.

“Whitney if you could hear me now I would tell you, you weren’t just good enough — you were great,” Costner said in a heartwarming tribute to his co-star.

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Noel Marquis is a journalist and animal-lover hailing from the Midwest. After an internship with Disney following her college graduation, she pursued a career writing content that makes readers smile. Coffee, books and superhero movies are some of her favorite things.