Kevin Costner is remaining guarded about his feelings over Whitney Houston's death.
The 57-year-old actor is arguably responsible for turning Houston into a Hollywood heavyweight when he hand-picked her to play opposite him in the 1993 film "The Bodyguard." However, Costner so far has not made any public comments about the late singer, who died this weekend at the age of 48.
Though his manager told omg! Canada in an email that Costner "holds Whitney in very high esteem," the actor has decided not to issue a public statement about Houston's passing in order to keep his relationship with her private.
Costner reportedly sent a floral arrangement to Bobbi Kristina in the hours after her mother's death. While he has remained mum in public, the actor's strong feelings about Houston are obvious after a glimpse at archival interviews with the actor. In 1993, the year "The Bodyguard" premiered, Costner spoke to "Entertainment Tonight" about choosing to cast Houston as the pop singer his ex-Secret Service alter ego is hired to protect.
"She's a world-class woman," he said at the time. "We've seen Streisand and we've seen Diana Ross, and Whitney is in that [category]. It's undeniable -- we can't describe it, but we all know it when we see it. And I felt that when I saw Whitney."
In the same interview segment, Houston said she agreed to take the role of Rachel Marron after turning down various other films because Costner made her feel "comfortable."
"He said, 'Whatever you need, we will supply for you,'" Houston said.
In 2009, Costner told ABC that he persuaded Warner Bros. to wait a year for Houston when she couldn't commit to "The Bodyguard" right away.
His last words in the interview referred to the final kiss between their characters in the film and is a fitting conclusion to his thoughts on his leading lady.
"I kissed her once for everybody in America, and I kissed her once for myself," he said.