Dances with Whitney

updated 12/14/1992 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/14/1992 01:00AM

OK, NOBODY EXPECTED A movie called The Bodyguard to soothe high-strung Hollywood—and apparently it didn't. Warner Bros, hired walkie-talkied guards to patrol the portals of Mann's Chinese Theatre, and Whitney Houston, who costars with Kevin Costner-in the film, brought her own cadre of enforcers to whisk her past fans and photographers. Even Under Siege tough guy Steven Seagal—who was providing his own protection for the evening—admitted he sometimes resorts to a hired hefty himself. "You have to," said the action star. "There are so many people who are after you just because you're a celebrity."

After the screening, the more daring first-nighters darted across a red-carpeted street Cora post-show part) benefiting the Magic Johnson Foundation, which funds pediatric ADIS research, and the Whitney Houston Foundation for Children, which raises money to light juvenile diabetes. Under a big-top tent, the crowd of about 1,000 gobbled corn chowder, vegetarian chili, sweet potato tartlets and strudel. Costner, meanwhile, Dodge City—dapper (in a dinner jacket and faded blue jeans) and cucumber-cool, betrayed no hint that he feared Bodyguard's meanest foe—critics, who savaged the film when it opened to the public two days later.

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