Denzel Washington Says He 'Wanted to Protect' Whitney Houston While Filming 'The Preacher's Wife'

Denzel Washington is opening up about Whitney Houston. During an appearance at the American Black Film Festival on June 15, the actor discussed his The Preacher's Wife co-star.

"I felt like I always wanted to protect her," Washington said of Houston, according to People. "I always felt like I wanted to protect her. You know? She wanted to be so tough, but she really wasn't. That's all. OK."

Washington and Houston starred alongside one another in the 1996 remake of The Bishop's Wife. The Penny Marshall-directed film, which also stars Courtney B. Vance, Jenifer Lewis and Lionel Richie, tells the story of an angel (Washington) who comes to help a struggling reverend (Vance) and his wife (Houston) save their church and family.

Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington

Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington in 'The Preacher's Wife.'

Fotos International/Getty Images

Washington isn't the only one of Houston's The Preacher's Wife co-stars to speak about the late actress, who died in 2012 at age 48. Last year, Vance told People, "I loved her so much. For me to be playing her husband, I was in a state of euphoric shock. It was a turning point in my life and Whitney was a huge, huge part of that."

The Bishop's Wife was one of many iconic movies in which Houston acted. The late singer also starred in the 1992 flick The Bodyguard alongside Kevin Costner. During a recent appearance on The Armchair Expert podcast, the Yellowstone actor recalled picking Houston for the role of a famous singer with a stalker who falls in love with her bodyguard (Costner).

Courtney B. Vance and Whitney Houston

Courtney B. Vance and Whitney Houston on the set of 'The Preacher's Wife.'

Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic

"I had promised Whitney that she'd be good in it," Costner said. "...We had this movie that worked and that was my promise to her. She's always gonna love me in the song and I was always gonna keep my promise to her."

Speaking with ET on the 2022 Oscars red carpet, Costner recalled of Houston, "She was a really street-smart girl, she knew stuff."

"I knew she could handle the part but she wasn't sure she could handle it," Costner said. "There came a moment where she had to make a decision and I saw her trust me and we had that, from that moment on."

Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner

Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner pose together.

Michael Caulfield/WireImage

Watch the video below for more on Houston.


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