Kevin Costner Says He Refused To Shorten His Whitney Houston Eulogy For CNN: 'I Don't Care'

Kevin Costner wouldn’t let anyone stop him from eulogizing his friend, Whitney Houston.

The Oscar winner recently discussed writing an impassioned speech about his “Bodyguard” co-star for her public memorial after she died in an accidental drowning in 2012 — and how CNN wasn’t enthused about its length.

“I had been working on this speech … and I tried to compile everything I wanted to do and finally crafted this speech,” Costner said on an episode of the “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard” podcast released Monday, adding that Dionne Warwick asked him to speak at the memorial.

“Somebody said, ‘CNN’s here, they wouldn’t mind if your remarks were kept shorter because they’re going to have commercials,’” Costner continueed. “And I said, ‘They can get over that. They can play the commercial while I’m talking, I don’t care.’”

The actor recalled saying everything he “needed to” in 17 minutes; he was one of only eight guests chosen to speak due to his close bond with Houston.

Elsewhere in the podcast, Costner also talked about the Grammy-winning artist’s appearance in “The Bodyguard” and how she “was my choice” for the film’s lead role, pop singer Rachel Marron.

According to Costner, the movie’s director, Mick Jackson, was “uncomfortable” about casting Houston in the film, but Costner, one of its producers, fought for her to star in it.

“I really knew who I wanted,” Costner said. “There was a moment where she trusted me. And as I looked at her and … I started to guide her, and I wasn’t trying to usurp my director, but I had made a promise to her — not to fucking him. And [to] the movie.”

Houston and Costner at Muhammad Ali's
Houston and Costner at Muhammad Ali's "Celebrity Fight Night XIV" in 2008. Costner recently said that Houston "was my choice" for Rachel Marron, the lead role in "The Bodyguard." Michael Caulfield/WireImage/Getty Images

“I had promised Whitney that she’d be good in it,” he continued, revealing that he reedited the movie himself to give Houston’s character shape. “And that was my promise to her. She’s always going to love me in the song, and I was always going to keep my promise to her.”

Along with acting in “The Bodyguard,” Houston contributed a cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” to the film’s soundtrack. The song was used to iconic effect for the romantic arc between Houston’s Marron and Costner’s titular bodyguard, Frank Farmer.