Being Romantic -- And 'The Bodyguard' -- In Bushnell Musical

Deborah Cox and Judson Mills in "The Bodyguard" Photo by Joan Marcus.

Deborah Cox and Judson Mills in "The Bodyguard" Photo by Joan Marcus.

What does it take to be a romantic leading man on stage?

“Chemistry,” says Judson Mills, who plays the male lead in the touring musical The Bodyguard, based on the 1992 film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner and playing at the Bushnell Feb. 20-25.

He might even add “luck,” as he confides that when he was cast in the show he didn’t know — or even audition with — his eventual co-star, Deborah Cox. She takes on the Whitney Houston role of the pop diva in need of protection. He, naturally, plays the oh-so-cool role portrayed by Costner. But fortune smiled, he says, and he and Cox have developed a special rapport on stage.

The musical stage is not his normal turf, having spent most of his career in film and television, including a continual role on TV’s Walker, Texas Ranger. But he points out that he began his acting career on stage, so he knows how to hold the spotlight.

And a note? Well, his character is only featured in one musical number, he says, which — like the film — is set in a karaoke bar. The big songs in the show — including I Wanna Dance With Somebody, The Greatest Love of All and I Will Always Love You — are left to Cox’s strong pipes.