The only thing that Costner cared about when casting the role of Rachel was if the actress was talented enough to embody the role. He said that race was never even a consideration when it came to narrowing down candidates, even though the original treatment of the film did also have a white bodyguard paired with a Black actress. Regardless, the snide comments made about Houston’s race were also paired with those questioning her career trajectory.

“I was told that it was a moment that she was actually declining in terms of her popularity,” Costner said.

The actor didn’t let these comments deter him from suggesting Houston for the role. Given his status as an Oscar-winning filmmaker after “Dances With Wolves,” these executives seemingly didn’t fight back, and the singer was cast. When “The Bodyguard” was released in 1992, initial critical reviews were negative, but its success and popularity among the general moviegoing public cannot be understated. As such, Houston received another major boost in popularity, which defined her legacy for the rest of her career.

“It might have been easier two years earlier at her peak,” Costner said, “but after that movie, she became, I think, one of the biggest stars in the world.”