Kevin Costner’s advice saved me from injury while I was on The Bodyguard – all the secrets from my time on set

YELLOWSTONE star Kevin Costner did not just play the role of an ex-Secret Service operative in his beloved film The Bodyguard – but was the real deal physically.

That’s the insight from co-star and man mountain Mike Starr, who was on the wrong end of an on screen beating from super strong Kevin.

Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston in smash hit The Bodyguard, which was released 30 years ago today


Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston in smash hit The Bodyguard, which was released 30 years ago todayCredit: Rex Features
Bodyguard actor Mike Starr says Kevin saved him from injury in their famous fight scene


Bodyguard actor Mike Starr says Kevin saved him from injury in their famous fight sceneCredit: Mike Starr / JDMC
Mike's character Tony pulls a knife at the end of the kitchen fight scene


Mike’s character Tony pulls a knife at the end of the kitchen fight sceneCredit: Warner Bros

Speaking on the 30th anniversary of the cult 1992 classic, Mike also revealed how Kevin helped tragic Whitney Houston knock it out of the park with her first movie role.

The film tells the story of how Kevin’s United States Secret Service agent turned bodyguard character Frank Farmer protects actress and singer Rachel Marron, played by Whitney, from a stalker.

Explaining his famous fight scene with now 67-year-old Kevin, Mike said he narrowly avoided serious medical danger.

The sequence sees Oscar-winner Kevin beat up Mike’s bouncer character Tony in a kitchen.

Today a grateful Mike recalls how Kevin and a stunt coordinator urged him to wear protective body pads and an intimate jock cover for his privates.

In an exclusive interview with The U.S. Sun, Mike, 72, explained: “The script just said that there was a fight between us, so before the scene Kevin, I and the stunt coordinator talked through what would happen.

“Then Kevin picked a camera, and had me and Norman the stunt coordinator act out the scene so he could get a better look at it.

“He then said: ‘I want you to pad up. Pad up around your balls and knees in case you fall.’ 

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“I looked at him and replied: ‘I’m an actor, I will be okay. I have been taught stage fighting and have done sports – nothing is going to happen. it will be okay.’

“But they insisted ‘No, pad up.’ So even though I thought it was unnecessary I had pads on my arms, legs, stomach and around my privates.

“Kevin is really strong, an athlete and has done some action. 

“He dragged me across the kitchen island for real, at some pace and threw me crashing in a heap to the floor about three feet down.

“Sure enough all the glasses came with me, broke and shattered sending pieces into my stomach and down there.

“Had I not packed up, God knows what would have happened.

“I may never have never fathered kids again or may have ended up singing soprano in the choir.

“It came out in a great way, because it was so real.”


The scene ends with Tony being dissuaded from attacking Frank with a large kitchen knife when a blade is thrown straight past his ear.

Mike, who also had a role in the 1990 gangster classic Goodfellas, recalled: “There were no stunt doubles. That look of horror and fear was for real. 

“The stunt department had lined up a crossbow on a wire to fire the blade just inches way from my right ear, which stuck to the wall. 

“I didn’t have to act, Kevin just laughed as that scene was in the can easily.”

Laughing he added: “Still to this day around the world people talk to me about that scene, asking ‘How did you get your a** kicked by him?

“They joke: ‘He kicked your a*** good right?

“The whole fight scene was done in silence, until Frank says: ‘I don’t want to talk about this again.’ 

“That really made it more powerful and people still repeat my lines back to me. I am amazed how much that movie reached out to the world.”


While Mick Jackson was the movie’s director, Mike says executive producer Kevin took the reins with the actors.

And he spent months preparing the late Whitney Houston for the blockbuster movie.

She was rumored to have been picked ahead of Madonna for her first film role, which turned her into a global megastar.  

Kevin was also determined to focus on “substance and drama” over being a schmaltzy musical action movie.

Mike said: “No disrespect to Mick, but Kevin was so emotionally invested in getting this film right – it was his baby.

“He had a bond with all the actors and created a rare spirit.

”With Whitney you could tell they had a connection and she really leaned on him.

“She was one of the biggest and most confident music stars, but this was new territory.

“Kevin stuck by her even when studio executives worried about it being her first movie, and the fact she was African American and may not have the appeal to fans.

“He even held off making the film for a year so that she could finish her world tour. Emotionally and physically Kevin held her hand.

“One day they were talking about shooting in a part of LA, and he just drops in a line: ‘Your cousin Dionne Warwick lives here.’

“That is when I knew he had done his homework.”


Kevin, whose Yellowstone series five debut averaged a combined 12.493 million viewers on seven Paramount cable networks on November 13, busied himself every day interacting with his co-stars, according to Mike. 

He said Whitney appeared to be a bundle of nerves and would ask questions like ‘Am I good enough?’, ‘Can I do it?” and ‘Will it work?’

Mike said: “He gave her the confidence to give that performance.

“I remember once while we were waiting for a scene, she turned to me and asked: ‘Is this going to be okay?’

“I told her: ‘Everything he says is right.’

“I always assured her and used to make light of the situation by telling silly stories about people and did anything to make her laugh.” 

The Bodyguard is streaming on Netflix. Yellowstone is streaming on the Paramount Network.

Mike is seen alongside Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston


Mike is seen alongside Kevin Costner and Whitney HoustonCredit: Warner Bros
Mike Starr poses for a pic ahead of the 30th anniversary of The Bodyguard


Mike Starr poses for a pic ahead of the 30th anniversary of The BodyguardCredit: Mike Starr / JDMC

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