Princess Diana Intended to Star in the Sequel to This Iconic Film
Fans of the late Princess Diana are discovering that the beloved royal had theatrical ambitions. In addition to her tireless charity work and responsibilities as mother to Princes William and Harry, the Princess of Wales was in talks to play the lead in the sequel to a very famous film.
A royal match
According to Today, actor Kevin Costner said Princess Diana was poised to take the lead female role in the sequel to the 1992 box office hit The Bodyguard. Much like Whitney Houston’s character in the original, she would play the woman that Costner’s character was assigned to protect. As in the first film, the two would end up having a romance.
“The studio liked the idea of doing a ‘Bodyguard 2’ (with Princess Diana) in the same kind of capacity as Whitney,” Costner recently told People TV, as noted by today. “Nobody really knew that for about a year.”
Costner said he told the princess the role would be made for her. “I said, ‘Look, I’m gonna write this part with you in mind. Is this something that you would like to do?’” he recalled. “And she said, ‘Yes, I do.’”
This wasn’t the first time Costner has spoken about the potential pairing of himself with the Princess. According to Vanity Fair, he spoke to journalist Anderson Cooper in 2012 about Princess Diana considering taking on the role in the sequel. “I told her I would take care of her just the same way that I took care of Whitney. . . She wanted me to write it for her. I said ‘I’ll tailor it for you if you’re interested.’ She goes: ‘I am interested.’”
If history is any type of box office predictor, the sequel would most likely have been a hit with audiences. According to CNN, The Bodyguard earned $121 million at the U.S. box office and was one of the most profitable films of the 1990s. It also validated Houston as a credible film star.
Nervous about romance
Since the plot involved the two main characters falling in love, there would obviously be love scenes in the film. Costner said that Princess Diana was a little hesitant at the idea. “I just remember her being incredibly sweet on the phone, and she asked the question,” Costner recalled, as noted by Today. “She goes, ‘Are we going to have, like, a kissing scene?’”
Ever the gentlemen, Costner said he tried to put her mind at ease. “She said it in a very respectful — she was a little nervous because her life was very governed. And I said, ‘Yeah, there’s going to be a little bit of that, but we can make that OK, too.’”
The relative who connected Costner to Diana
Costner was able to discuss the role with the Princess of Wales thanks to Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, as People TV noted.
“Sarah was really important,” Costner said. “I always respect Sarah because she’s the one that set up the conversation between me and Diana. She was the one that set it up, and she never said, ‘Well, what about me? I’m a princess too.’ She was just so supportive of the idea.”
According to Vanity Fair, Costner said that he received the script for the sequel on August 31, 1997, the day before Princess Diana died. Ironically, the film was centered around Costner’s character protecting Diana’s character from paparazzi, and she was killed in a car crash in Paris that was blamed on photographers following her and companion Dodi Fayed. Princess Diana was 36 years old.