During the 1980s, Whitney Houston became one of the biggest names in pop music. And after Madonna parlayed her musical success into a Hollywood career, it seemed only natural for the photogenic, personable Houston to follow suit. It was 25 years ago this month that her acting debut, The Bodyguard, hit the big screen. She played Rachel Marron, a singing superstar who’s being hunted by a ruthless killer. (Hence, the need for Kevin Costner’s title character.) At the time, Houston was being offered a lot of different roles, but she told us why this was the one she decided to take. (Click on the media bar below to hear Whitney Houston)
The movie was a hit, grossing more than $400 million worldwide, and also spawned one of the most successful soundtrack albums in history: It sold more than 10 million copies, and its first single, I Will Always Love You, topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a record-setting 14 weeks. But all of that almost never happened. Although Houston loved the part, she had some serious doubts about whether she could handle a role like that in her first movie. She told us it was her co-star, Kevin Costner, who really convinced her to go for it. (Click on the media bar below to hear Whitney Houston)
While the movie didn’t get much love from the critics — it was nominated for seven Golden Raspberry awards — it remains a fun film to watch, with an added poignancy now that Houston is no longer with us. It’s available on home video or streaming on Amazon.