What the Hell Happened to Val Kilmer?

Val Kilmer

Val Kilmer

In the 80’s, Val Kilmer was Tom Cruise’s rival both on-screen and off.  Top Gun launched the actor to super stardom and Batman cemented his status at the top of the A-list.  But then, Kilmer’s career spiraled out of control.  Today, the former sex symbol is considered by many to be a bloated tabloid joke and his movies go straight to video.

What the hell happened?

At 12, Kilmer landed his first acting job in a TV commercial for a fast food chain.  He walked off the set because he could not find his motivation.  He told the director he could not pretend to like the hamburgers he was advertising.

At the age of 17, he became the youngest person at the time to be accepted into the Julliard School’s Drama Division. This success followed a personal tragedy.  His brother had recently drowned after an epileptic seizure in a swimming pool.

kilmer - the slab boys

Val Kilmer – The Slab Boys – 1983

Kilmer began his career as a stage actor.  He turned down a role in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 film, The Outsiders due to prior theater obligations.  In 1983, he appeared Off Broadway in “The Slab Boys” with Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn.

kilmer - top secret

Val Kilmer -Hot Shots – 1984

Kilmer’s first big break came in 1984 when he landed the lead role in the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker spoof, Top Secret!

Kilmer played an American rock and roll star in the mold of Elvis Presley who gets roped into the world of espionage while touring East Germany.  Kilmer sang all of his own songs and released an album under his character’s name.

The film got mixed reviews and disappointed at the box office.  Top Secret opened at #7 beaten out by both Rhinestone and The Karate Kid.  But over time, Top Secret ! has become a cult film.  While it’s not a classic like Airplane!, it is better than your average spoof with many genuinely funny moments.

Co-director Jim Abrahams, remembered conflicts with Kilmer even at the start of his career. ”We would all butt heads when we couldn’t define a motivation for his character. He wanted to know who Nick Rivers was and why he would say things, and in the context of a parody, you think, ‘Is it really so important?”’

Val Kilmer - Real Genius - 1985

Val Kilmer – Real Genius – 1985

The following year, Kilmer starred in another cult comedy classic, 1985’s Real Genius.

Kilmer played a student at a school for geniuses who is building a laser for his senior project.  Although his character is not the lead, Kilmer steals the show with a manic performance.  He delivers one quotable punchline after another.

Producer, Brian Grazer described Kilmer’s on-set behavior thusly: ”He would just evaporate. No one could find him.”  He went on to say,  ”There’s always a point when I work with him when I vow not to work with him again.”

Director, Martha Coolidge described Kilmer’s on-set behavior:

“Val was the best guy for the part, but not so easy to work with. He was intellectually challenging and erratic, not so surprising since that was the character. It was a big demanding part and he often avoided working by asked a lot of questions and was sometimes late to the set and moody. He was almost in every scene for about 75 days – and I’m sure he was nervous. I’ve learned to give young actors space and discipline, encouragement and pushing when they need it. I like actors with ideas and he had many.”

In spite of mostly positive reviews, Real Genius also disappointed at the box office.  But like Top Secret!, it has gained cult status on video.

MICHELLE PFEIFFER, VAL KILMER

Val Kilmer and Michelle Pfeiffer – One Too Many – 1985

Later that year, Kilmer appeared in an ABC Afterschool Special about the dangers of drunk driving titled One Too Many.  And yes, that is a young Michelle Pfeiffer as his co-star.  Kilmer was so taken with Pfieffer that he wrote a book of poems entitled My Eden After Burns that included poems inspired by the future Catwoman.  Pfeiffer was married to the director, Peter Horton, at the time.

I believe a clip is in order.

The movie was filmed in 1983 when Pfieffer and Kilmer were still unknowns.  It aired two years later as the stars’ careers were heating up.

Next: Top Gun

Posted on May 5, 2011, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actor and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 483 Comments.

  1. Let’s Remember ‘Willow’ And Look At What The Cast Has Been Up To:
    http://uproxx.com/movies/2015/05/willow-where-are-they-now/

    Val Kilmer (Madmartigan)

    Val Kilmer’s performance as the mercenary with the heart of gold was — along with Real Genius and Top Gun — apart of his early big work on the big screen, and this performance was one that catapulted him to the A-List. Let’s be real: Val Kilmer basically ruled the ’90s. He would go on to star many other films, including The Doors, Tombstone, Batman Forever, Heat, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. He has most recently become the world’s greatest living Mark Twain impersonator. There’s also the lingering possibility that he may one day run for public office, though it would be pretty great to see him get a Michael Keaton-esque stab at a comeback.

    Fun fact: Kilmer and actress Joanne Whalley met while working on the film. They were married later in 1988, and they have two children. The two would eventually divorce in 1996.

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  2. 10 Actors Whose Craziness Got Them Kicked Out Of Hollywood:
    http://whatculture.com/film/10-actors-whose-craziness-got-them-kicked-out-of-hollywood.php/3

    Val Kilmer

    You don’t see Val Kilmer much nowadays, do you? Could that be a result of his huge and crazy ego, perhaps, which means that almost nobody wants to work with him?

    Val Kilmer always had a reputation for being a bit crazy, of course, but there came a point where Hollywood decided that it could get by perfectly fine without Kilmer and his antics, thank you very much, and decided to stop putting up with his sh*t. Just like that.

    Because Kilmer was reportedly a nightmare to work with on pretty much every movie he ever made, including Tombstone, The Island of Dr. Moreau and Batman Forever (the list goes on) – serious to a fault and armed with an ego unlike anybody had ever seen (even in Hollywood), he also fell out with Tom Cruise on Top Gun – one of Hollywood’s biggest players – which only helped to stall his career and cement his eventual decline.

    After word of mouth got around, Kilmer’s reputation hit toxic levels and the community of Tinseltown threw up their collective hands and said: That’s enough, Val. We’re done.”

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  3. Full Metal Jacket and Its Troubled Production:
    http://www.denofgeek.us/movies/full-metal-jacket/246528/full-metal-jacket-and-its-troubled-production

    Modine opens the book personally. He was just starting to make money as an actor. He bought a house with his wife. Val Kilmer was talking s*** about him. Modine may or may not have gotten the role of Joker because of Kilmer. Modine tells a story about how he and actor David Allen Grier were out to dinner in New York City when Modine saw Kilmer looking at him and cursing. Grier went over to see what was what and Kilmer bitched that Modine was cast in some Vietnam movie that Stanley Kubrick was making. Modine said he wasn’t aware of it, but hey, what a great idea. He sent in clips from Birdy as an audition. Kubrick cast him in spite of the clip he never watched which he deemed a shouting match.

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  4. I will admit, since stumbling onto this site recently, I have been quite stuck on it and find a lot of the reads entertaining. But there are a couple of things I must point out

    1,-You do seem to downplay certain roles calling them “small” that really arent that small. For instance, you say that Kilmer had a small role in Deja Vu, he’s actually in a pretty good chunk of that movie and its kind of disrespectful to say otherwise. To have 3rd or 4th billing in a Hollywood made production is very good. Its not like he was the doorman and said “here’s your morning paper sir” and dissapeared.

    2-I noticed you keep saying certain films made a small profit and thats really not the case. A film that makes a few dollars more than the budget hurts. A film often splits 50% with the distributor, and basically has to make 3 times the budget to be profitable.

    Simple math, if a film cost 10 Million and makes 20 million, the company will pretty much break even. It would have to rely on DVD sales and rentals to offset some of the advertising cost and to produce some type of profit. So a film like TITANIC costing 200million, definately needed to clear 600 million. But clearly that gamble paid off.

    Other than that, keep up the good work!

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    • Thanks Kelly. I’m glad you found the site and seem to be mostly enjoying the articles. I think you raise some valid points. Let me try to address them.

      1. There’s an old saying that “there are no small roles, only small actors.” When I refer to a role as “small” I’m usually talking about screen time. It’s been a while since I watched Deja Vu so I may be off on that one. But my recollection was that Kilmer wasn’t on-screen more than a quarter of the movie’s overall runtime. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call the part a supporting role. Billing is important and third or fourth billing can be significant. Although I would argue that anything after top billing in a movie like Deja Vu doesn’t count for much. That movie was sold mostly on Washington’s star power. Check out the poster:

      Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott were bigger selling points than Kilmer. I would wager that most ticket buyers going to see Deja Vu in 2006 had no idea Kilmer was in the movie when they bought their tickets.

      1. Box office is even trickier to talk about. There is no one formula for calculating the profitability of a movie. Hollywood accounting is more art than science. If a movie earns back it’s production budget domestically, I agree it didn’t turn a profit. The rule of thumb I have gone by is that a movie should earn back twice its production costs in the US to be profitable. But with a lot of movies making more overseas than they do in the US and all the complexities involved in international profits, there just isn’t a good formula. Your “3 times” rule seems extremely conservative to me. But on a movie where marketing costs were sky-high, I’m sure there are times when that is true.

      I don’t want to and am not equipped to break down the accounting of every movie I cover. I don’t think most readers would be interested in that even if I could. The general idea is to give a sense of “hit”, “miss”, “disappointment”, “home run” or “flop”. I probably should avoid the word “profit” because it falls into a grey area. More recent articles tend to talk about box office in terms of placement in relation to other releases as opposed to “profitability”.

      Any way, thanks for the feedback. I’ll keep these points in mind going forward and as I revise some of the older articles.

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  5. What Happened to Val Kilmer? What is He Doing Now?

    http://gazettereview.com/2015/06/what-happened-to-val-kilmer-what-is-he-doing-now/

    It wasn’t long ago that you couldn’t have a conversation about leading men without discussing Val Kilmer, who played Tom Cruise’s rival in Top Gun, Doc Holliday in Tombstone, and Bruce Wayne in Batman Forever. While Kilmer portrayed Batman in only one film, being replaced by George Clooney in the sequel, nobody could deny the acting talent of the Julliard educated tour-de-force that was the young Val Kilmer. So how did the man who reached the heights of Gotham city fall so far below the radar? Read on to find out.

    After excelling at the world-renowned Juilliard School for the performing arts, where he was accepted at the time as the school’s youngest student ever, Val Kilmer got his big break with two 80’s comedies. In the action comedy Top Secret!, Kilmer portrayed rock star Nick Rivers, who finds himself accidentally embroiled in the Cold War politics and spy games of a Berlin Wall era East Germany. A real life musician, Kilmer sang in the film and on a corresponding soundtrack from his fictional character, Nick Rivers. In Real Genius, Kilmer stole the show as an eccentric physics genius, prankster, and party animal who teams up with more traditional nerds to foil a CIA plot to use their research as a weapon.

    It was Top Gun that made Kilmer truly famous though. In 1986, Val Kilmer played Lieutenant Tom “Iceman” Kazanski, a cool to the core ace pilot and top student at the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School nicknamed “Top Gun.” Iceman and Cruise’s “Maverick” competed for the head of the class position in Tony Scott’s high octane, adrenaline fueled classic, eventually becoming friends after teaming up to take down rogue Russian fighter jets. Kilmer rounded out the 80’s with leading roles in Ron Howard’s fantasy epic, Willow, and Gore Vidal’s Billy the Kid. On the set of Willow, Kilmer met and fell for his costar Joanne Whalley, and the two were married soon afterwards. Around this same time, Kilmer began to develop a reputation of being difficult to work with, eccentric, and egocentric.

    val-kilmer-youngThe 90’s saw Kilmer coming into his own as a powerful lead in historical epics and major blockbusters. Kilmer took up the mantle of musical legend Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s 1991 biopic The Doors. For his casting as lead in the film, Kilmer beat out Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Bono, John Travolta, and even Richard Gere after sending the director his own homemade music video. During filming, however, Kilmer often clashed with Stone about the direction of the script. In his next movie, Kilmer became dangerous gunslinger Doc Holliday, battling alongside Kurt Russell’s Wyatt Earp at the O.K. Corral in 1993’s Tombstone. The film was one of the most critically and commercially successful Westerns of all time when it was released, and it was considered a major success for the up and coming Kilmer. For his commitment to the Doc Holliday role, he was noticed by Joel Schumacher, a director best known for his thrillers The Lost Boys, Falling Down, St. Elmo’s Fire, and two Batman films. Schumacher offered Kilmer the lead role in 1995’s Batman Forever.

    Batman Forever was one of the highest grossing films of 1995 and brought Kilmer to mainstream action audiences. In the flick, Kilmer starred alongside Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, and Nicole Kidman. Unlike its Tim Burton predecessors, Schumacher’s Batman films drew more heavily from the Golden Age pulpy, slapstick-heavy Batman comics, and also from the campy 1960’s television series. Kilmer did not repeat his role in the sequel, Batman and Robin. He came into conflict with Schumacher on the film’s focus on the villains; Kilmer felt that he should be the star of the show. This continued to cement Kilmer’s status as combative, and the movie was the high point of Kilmer’s career financially.

    Kilmer’s next few roles were in dramatic action movies that struggled to achieve the highs of his earlier career. These included The Saint, a spy thriller based on a long running radio, television, and book franchise, and The Ghost and the Darkness. Kilmer also worked with Marlon Brando in The Island of Dr. Moreau, a heavily panned remake about an island of human-animal hybrid creatures. Another misstep came with 2000’s science fiction box office flop, Red Planet. Around this time, Kilmer and his wife were divorced. Kilmer continued to take roles in lesser known films like Mindhunters, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Alexander, and Tony Scott’s Déjà Vu. By 2007, Kilmer was the butt of jokes like Bowling For Soup’s song “Val Kilmer” and most of his work was limited to television cameos, horror films, and limited release flicks.

    Unlike many actors fallen on hard times, Kilmer has not stopped working. He has appeared in sometimes as many as four or five films each year, generally in minor or supporting roles. Kilmer is slated to appear in avant-garde director Terrence Malick’s upcoming musical drama, Weightless, in which Kilmer will play second banana to A-listers that could include Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Benicio Del Toro, and Cate Blanchett. While the light from Kilmer’s star pales in comparison to these current Hollywood greats, Kilmer’s early career legacy remains intact. No less than House of Cards’ Kevin Spacey has stated that he got into acting after seeing an early Val Kilmer performance.

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    • The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

      http://officialfan.proboards.com/thread/533032/island-dr-moreau-1996

      This remake has some of the funniest blurbs I’ve ever read:

      -Fairuza Balk tried to escape the production but was caught on the airport and sent back to the set.

      -Marlon Brando wore a small radio receiver to aid him remembering his lines. Co-star David Thewlis claimed “He’d be in the middle of a scene and suddenly he’d be picking up police messages and Marlon would repeat, ‘There’s a robbery at Woolworths’.”

      -Richard Stanley had spent four years developing the project, only to be fired after four days.

      -After being fired by the studio, original director Richard Stanley was rumored to have prevailed upon the makeup crew to turn him into one of the background mutants, so that he could at least keep tabs on the making of his dream project. He supposedly did not unmask himself until the wrap party.

      -When Val Kilmer showed up on set two days late, it was clear that he hadn’t learned any lines or knew much about his character.

      -Richard Stanley consulted a warlock in London for advice on the film, such as casting Marlon Brando. When he died, the production went downhill.

      -Actors playing Moreau’s creations would spend hours in makeup, only to find out that they weren’t needed. At one point, a day’s filming was cancelled when Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer refused to come out of their trailers until the other did.

      -When John Frankenheimer demanded more extras, some homeless hippies living in the nearby rainforest were brought in.

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    • Which actor has wasted their talent or good will the most?

      Val Kilmer Springs to mind. What a pompous ass.

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  6. Why Do Reputable Actors Keep Making Movies With 50 Cent?

    http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/why-do-reputable-actors-keep-making-movies-with-50-cent/

    50 Cent’s output in the last few years has been remarkable: While still releasing major-label albums and occasionally acting in studio movies, he’s managed to fund, produce, star, and sometimes even write a steady string of nearly indistinguishable B-movie crime thrillers. But the really amazing thing? The quality of his co-stars. 50 isn’t satisfied playing guns and robbers with guys whose best-known work was a two-episode arc on Party Of Five. Somehow, some way, he lands actors you not only recognize but also might actually like. Set Up, the latest in the 50 Cent assembly line of schlock, arrives on DVD today with both Ryan Philippe and Bruce Willis on its cover. How does 50 pull this off? Below, we look back on his recent filmography and speculate.

    Streets of Blood (2008)
    In 2008, when 50 kicked off his current streak with this ill-advised post-Katrina corrupt-cop flick, he was only two years removed from Get Rich Or Die Tryin’, a high-profile 8 Mile-style roman à clef directed by the guy who did My Left Foot. Did the weighty subject matter and 50’s then-unestablished reputation for making crap trick co-stars Val Kilmer and Sharon Stone into thinking they were signing on for a normal movie?

    Gun (2010), Blood (2011)
    Val Kilmer returned for both of these movies. Why? Okay, yeah, Val’s bank account has seen better days, but he’s not quite at Kleinsian levels of desperation (he just did a movie with Francis Ford Coppola, after all). The only logical explanation, then, is that Val Kilmer really, really likes 50 Cent. Just listen to him describe Curtis to New Mexico Congressman Luciano Varela: “He’s so healthy in his mind and his attitude. And they shot him nine times … Nine! Not twice! He’s bionic. To be around him, he’s got an amazing feeling. Great spirit.”

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    • Before he self destructed: chronicling the fall of 50 Cent:
      http://www.theverge.com/2015/8/24/9184209/50-cent-bankruptcy-rick-ross-beef

      There was a time when Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson was unavoidable. With the exception of Snoop Doggy Dogg, it’s difficult to envision a rapper getting a bigger launch: his debut album Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ dominated the pop culture landscape in 2003, selling 12 million copies while its inescapable lead single “In Da Club” stayed at the top of the charts for nine weeks. The album made Rolling Stone’s list of the top 50 albums of the decade and became one of the most commercially successful rap albums of all time.

      His popularity transcended racial, gender, class, and generational divides. Your grandmother knew who 50 Cent was. She may even have felt comfortable enough with the rapper to refer to him as “Fiddy,” as every white person in the world once did. Backed by his mentors Dr. Dre and Eminem, Jackson once had so much power behind him that it seemed nearly impossible for him to fail.

      These days, however, it’s nearly impossible to imagine him succeeding. In the limp, late punchline to the grim joke that is his career, Jackson — a rapper whose preoccupation with money was obsessive even in a genre fixated on it — recently declared bankruptcy. A man whose never-released Columbia debut was to be called The Power Of The Dollar, who made a reported $100 million from his stake in Vitamin Water, and who in 2007 was the second wealthiest rapper in the industry — a man who named himself after money — was now conceding he was not financially solvent. A man who rocketed to fame shirtlessly bragging about being richer than everyone else donned a suit to meekly inform the court that he was not the pillar of wealth he was pretending to be.

      Jackson’s struggles were once a strength: he was a hip-hop Horatio Alger story who overcame his drug-dealing adolescence and getting shot nine times to become a massive superstar. But he has only himself to blame for his downfall, and now his story has a much darker context: it’s a cautionary tale of how hubris and bad decisions can torpedo any career. Twelve years ago, the idea of 50 Cent pleading for his financial life in bankruptcy court was inconceivable. Today, his bankruptcy engenders not shock or pity but Nelson Muntz-like cackles of “Ha ha!”

      That’s because Jackson’s fall is among the most deserved in pop culture, to the point a would-be rhetorical question like “where did it all go wrong?” has multiple, specific answers. Here are 10 of the seemingly infinite mistakes he made en route from being one of rap’s biggest winners to one of its biggest losers.

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  7. I just watched Tombstone again tonight. For me this will always be the pinnacle of Val Kilmer’s career (barring some late-career resurgence)–he was definitely the finest Doc Holliday ever. Remember, he may be seeing double, but he has two guns, one for each of you!

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  8. I apologize if I somehow brought this up before, long ago, but has anybody else heard about the rumors of Val Kilmer having an affair w/ Drew Barrymore when they were making “Batman Forever”? Apparently, Val’s wife named Barrymore as a third party in her divorce suit.

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  9. lebeau any chance u will write about spacey . His career slowed down alot since oscar win. House eof cards his only high profile role.

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    • House of Cards is high profile enough that I won’t cover him in WTHH any time soon. But he may pop up in things like the articles I wrote recently on The Usual Suspects and Seven.

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  10. True but shue and tim allen are on a hit tv show and there on the list. Spacey name is associated with dreaded oscar curse. HIs career hasn’t lived up to his potential. But its your blog. I am huge spacey fan anyway so I am happy that he is not candidate for the list I just dislike his post Americna beauty film choices.

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  11. Lebau i read douglas was billed after kilmer despite having small part due to being bigger star. But i read empire magazine top 100 greatest movie star in 1997 and kilmer was ranked higher then douglas. It makes me confuse if kilmer was really as big as everyon thought and was he really bigger then douglas. I tlak to few people who remember the 90s and dosent remember val being that big and other people say vice versa. I guess people remember things differently.

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  12. Val Kilmer foils commies in a spy comedy from the directors of Airplane!

    http://www.avclub.com/article/val-kilmer-foils-commies-spy-comedy-directors-airp-226086

    Top Secret! (1984)

    Mocking disaster movies in 1982’s Airplane! made a lot of money for the writer-director team of Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker, and gave the trio enough Hollywood clout to make 1984’s rock ’n’ roll spy spoof Top Secret!—a much less commercial but in many ways more inspired comedy. Riffing on Elvis Presley musicals and cornball wartime romances, the ZAZ team reimagined the youth-oriented B-movie for the Reagan administration, making East German communists into cartoon villains while letting the impossibly handsome Val Kilmer represent everything awesome about America. Kilmer plays Nick Rivers, a pop idol who’s touring Europe with his hit single “Skeet Surfing” when he hooks up with a band of resistance fighters (played by Omar Sharif, Peter Cushing, and Lucy Gutteridge, among others) and finds himself fighting the reds. As with all the ZAZ films, the plot is just the long, tall wall against which the writers can hurl one gag after another—some related to the premise, some not.

    Over the years, the Zuckers and Abrahams have taken the disappointing financial return of Top Secret! as a sign that they blew it, and that they made a too-digressive, too-whimsical movie parodying too-obscure source material. But they’re protesting way too much. This film’s their most light and playful work (even with the pre-PG-13-era references to butt plugs and enormous cocks). The ZAZ-ers string together gently surreal sight-gags that play up the artificially of cinema: using a giant phone prop to create a forced perspective; figuring out a way to make a station pull away from a train rather than vice versa; and so on. (Top Secret!’s Pac-Man joke, meanwhile, is pretty pointless… albeit funny.)

    The movie’s greatest visual effect, though, is Kilmer himself, who always looks great, whether he’s bringing an audience to their feet with one of his song-and-dance routines or having an underwater bar-brawl. His Nick Rivers isn’t the traditional sullen, tortured spy. Instead, he’s both graceful and joyous. In the age of Rambo and Top Gun (another Kilmer vehicle), Top Secret! was a different kind of patriotic entertainment, one that celebrated an American hero for his skill, panache, and derring-do, rather than his brute muscle or shameless sneakiness. It’s cloak-and-dagger by way of Looney Tunes.

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  13. 10 Actors Who Haven’t Given A Good Movie Performance In Over A Decade:
    http://whatculture.com/film/10-actors-who-havent-given-a-good-movie-performance-in-over-a-decade.php/2

    Val Kilmer

    Ah, Val Kilmer. It’s seems an aeon away since he gave us his last truly good performance in Shane Black’s underrated, brilliant Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005). Playing Dt. Gay Perry (really), Kilmer looked set to potentially reinvigorate his career after his first decade-long disappearance into the seedy underbelly of films-for-cash, turning in his first good performance since Heat in ’95. (I haven’t got the space here but look at his IMDB and check out his roles in that ten year period).

    But nope, History, as we’ve been taught, repeated itself once more, and Kilmer’s filmography since Gay Perry reads something like this (and this is just a selection): Played (2006); Summer Love (2006); The Ten Commandments: The Musical [playing Moses] (2006); Have Dreams, Will Travel (2007); 2:22 (2008); The Steam Experiment (2009); Deep In The Heart (2012) and Riddle (2013).

    That list makes it hard to believe that Val Kilmer once gave us a perfect performance as Doors front-man Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s The Doors (1991), or that he’s capable of nice little turns in things like Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant (made in 2009 but among enough absolute garbage that it isn’t going to spare his appearance on this list, cheating or not), but this is the Val Kilmer we have now and we’re just gonna have to deal with it and hope for another Gay Perry somewhere down the line.

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  14. Val Kilmer denies reports that he’s in the hospital: “I have no tumor.” http://ietv.co/1GwvCWn

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  15. Top 10 Actors Most Difficult to Work With

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/thecinefiles/permalink/10153568887955795/?comment_id=10153568936935795&offset=0&total_comments=2&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R%22%7D

    It’s beyond belief that a professional production could have descended into a farce like this. Brando seemed to me to be simply mischievous. Val Kilmer, on the other hand, comes across as being totally unlikable, bordering on sociopathic. No one had a good word to say about him. To be fair, he doesn’t appear in the documentary to defend himself, but I suspect he refused to take part. To his credit, when talking about the film at the screening, Richard Stanley didn’t say a single unpleasant thing about anyone involved. It seems he has come to complete terms with the whole experience and moved on.

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    • Directed By David Gregory ⋅ United States ⋅ 97 min
      The bizarre true story behind the reviled 1996 adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic is told for the first time in this equally hilarious and horrific documentary. After making his mark with the visionary horror films HARDWARE and DUST DEVIL, Australian filmmaker Richard Stanley came up with an ambitious plan for adapting THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU. But casting pretentious performers like Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando proved to be his undoing and he was fired off the film. What happens after that must be seen to be believed. Fans of JODOROWSKY’S DUNE will love it.

      Cast: Fairuza Balk, Hugh Dickson, Oli Dickson

      Late in the summer of 1996, a fascinating cinematic failure entitled “The Island of Dr. Moreau” hit theaters in an unsuccessful attempt to bring the classic H.G. Wells source novel to life for a new generation of moviegoers. The cast was a slam dunk (Val Kilmer, Marlon Brando), the creature effects (courtesy of Stan Winston) were top notch, and every element down to William Fraker’s rich cinematography and Gary Chang’s haunting score delivered. And yet…

      And yet it was a blazing hot mess. The story of how and why this filmic SNAFU went down has been teasingly whispered about for nearly two decades, and Culturedog Sam Hatch has long been fascinated not only by the finished product, but by the film that almost was – a bizarre passion project by acclaimed indie filmmaker Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil).

      So why did John Frankenheimer wind up helming the film, leaving the original writer/director to devolve into a real-life Dr. Moreau/Colonel Kurtz character? Is it true that Richard Stanley climbed trees to escape the pressures of filming? Is it true that Fairuza Balk was kidnapped by the production after failing to escape the set? Did Stanley secretly infiltrate the shoot incognito as a dog-faced hybrid man? Hell yeah!

      And that’s just scratching the surface. Finally, a documentary film has been created to detail one of the most intriguing sagas about when the Hollywood system fell gloriously apart. The moral of this story is… well, apart from “don’t hire Val Kilmer” and “don’t convince witch doctors to cast spells on your film”, the moral here is lost at sea. Enjoy the madness!

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  16. Val Kilmer ready to jump back in the cockpit for ‘Top Gun 2’ … if it happens https://t.co/EWlrXZIEQ6

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  17. Did people question kilmer a LISt stature back then. Given his box office in 90s where for most part low.

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  18. His only box office hits in 90s where heat, batman forever ,tombstone and prince of egypt. All of which his name had nothing to with hits. Its weird for a guy who had alot of hype in 90s one would think hes as big as cruise. Most of his 90s work where flops or did ok. He could not really carry a film I am sure studios questioned it.

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  19. hopefully val is ok

    Like

  20. 15 Forgotten ’80s Heartthrobs: Where Are They Now?

    http://www.fame10.com/entertainment/15-forgotten-80s-heartthrobs-where-are-they-now/7/

    Val Kilmer

    Val Kilmer made a name for himself in the ‘80s thanks to his roles in movies like Willow and Top Gun. These days, he looks like a shadow of his former self, as he has put on a lot of weight since his heyday. While he continues to act and has been seen in movies like The Traveler and Twixt, his career is nowhere near where it was even a decade ago.

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  21. So Val Kilmer is now Beau Bridges?

    Like

  22. Name Some Of The Worst Hollywood Collapses

    https://www.datalounge.com/thread/16524226-name-some-of-the-worst-hollywood-collapses

    Val Kilmer deserves his career collapse. The guy is quite a scary person. Not only is he capable of making the lives of the people on set difficult, he once stalked a girl I knew. He was married but utterly obsessed with this girl. She couldn’t leave work without another person escorting her because he kept showing up. He’d show up at her house. I can’t remember all the details on the things he said anymore but it was obvious he was very mentally unstable. I imagine that’s the reason his career came to a screeching halt, he’s impossible to work with because he’s scary and nuts. Plus he looks like sh** now.

    —Anonymous

    reply 443 Last Saturday at 2:00 PM

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  23. What movies killed what actor’s career?

    Of those films it was actually Red Planet which killed his career dead. The Saint wasn’t a hit, but made some money. Red Planet made only 17 mil domestic, 18 mil international on a budget of 80 mil. That film properly lost a lot of money. It also killed the career of its director who didn’t go on to direct anything else.

    The other mars film, Mission to Mars, made only 60 mil domestic out ouf a 100 mil budget. That killed the career of Brian de Palma pretty much. His next film The Black Dahlia was a desperate return to form with more familiar territory but that didn’t recover even half of its 50 mil budget – and that was the final nail to the master’s career in Hollywood. A film which by the way was also the final nail on Josh Harnett’s career who after a string of flops including Hollywood Detective – shortly took a break and returned only in 2014 for a TV show.

    So, lessons for Hollywood: don’t employ Josh Harnett. And don’t ever make films set in Mars, they can never ever work.

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  24. Re: Who were the up-and-coming actors that never became huge stars?

    http://forum.dvdtalk.com/12759439-post726.html

    With Batman in the conversation these days, I’m reminded of the two stars of Batman Forever, Val Kilmer and Chris O’Donnell. Val was already a star, but Batman was supposed to propel him into super-stardom. Bad post-Batman career choices (The Island of Dr. Moreau? Yeesh) and even worse behavior on set torpedoed him. Chris O’Donnell was the Chris Evans of the 90s. Boy next door handsome and could do do comedies, dramas, and action films. It never quite clicked though for him. I know he’s got a steady paycheck nowadays with NCIS, but come on. Nobody ever dreams of hitting it big on a CBS procedural.

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  25. Daniel Radcliffe and Val Kilmer, the Anti-Leading Men Of Hollywood

    http://filmschoolrejects.com/features/daniel-radcliffe-and-val-kilmer-the-anti-leading-men-of-hollywood.php

    Last week, actor Val Kilmer surprised us all by announcing on Facebook that he would be returning for a Top Gun sequel. The surprise wasn’t so much that Hollywood would make a Top Gun sequel as it was that Kilmer would be asked to return; only the most dedicated Kilmer fans (this does include me) would dig into his recent string of VOD genre movies on Netflix and see an actor deserving of a blockbuster resurgence. Do a search for “Val Kilmer Oscar” on Google and you’ll get about 1,500 responses. A search for “Fat Val Kilmer,” on the other hand? Quadruple it. Kilmer is far removed from his days of the serious method actor who played Doc Holliday in Tombstone or Jim Morrison in The Doors. Now he’s the punchline in everyone’s Batman rankings.

    And if you followed my instructions and performed this (admittedly non-scientific) measurement of Kilmer’s reputation, you may have also noticed a few banner ads for the upcoming holiday film Victor Frankenstein. This modern reimagining of the Frankenstein narrative – think Mary Shelley with a Guy Ritchie vibe – pits James McAvoy’s Victor Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliffe’s Igor against both man and monster in nineteenth century Europe. Somewhere along the way you might also have encountered the first trailer for Now You See Me 2, with Radcliffe serving as the millionaire-slash-mark for Jesse Eisenberg’s merry band of magical miscreants. Two movies, each with Radcliffe playing against his chiseled type as either the villain or the comedic relief.

    What, you might ask, do Val Kilmer and Daniel Radcliffe – the washed up star of Curtis Jackson movies and the face of Hollywood biggest blockbuster franchise – have in common? Easy: the only role they’ve consistently turned down is that of the Hollywood leading man.

    There is probably no better article on the state of the modern leading man than Mark Harris’s 2013 essay for GQ titled “The New and Improved Leading Man.” In the essay, Harris breaks down the components of a leading man – what it takes to be the critical and commercial anchor of a film – into a series of easy-to-understand criteria. Hollywood leading men should be relatable yet mysterious; attractive and surprising; funny and calculating about the progress of their own careers. And at one point or another in both of their careers, each of these attributes easily applied to both Kilmer and Radcliffe. Kilmer was the mercurial star of The Doors and Tombstone, but also the lead in a big budget action films such as The Saint and Batman Forever. Radcliffe, meanwhile, has spent almost as much time being Harry Potter as he has being himself, starring in eight feature films spread across more than a decade. If either actor had focused on consolidating power as a Hollywood star, they likely would have kept pace with their more bankable contemporaries in the years following their biggest roles.

    Neither actor did. I’ve written about my love of Kilmer before, but the twists and turns of the actor’s career have never failed to fascinate me. In interviews, Kilmer speaks of his inability to create a leading man ‘persona’ earlier in his career that would have given him access to more mainstream roles. “I never cultivated a personality,” Kilmer told Chuck Klosterman in a 2005 interview for Esquire. “Almost everyone who is really famous has cultivated a personality.” Years later, Kilmer would share this same regret for an issue of Vanity Fair. “I actually regret not having created a persona years ago like all of my wise contemporaries [did]. (…) When I say each one of these [names], you have a very instant opinion about a very particular kind of character.”

    While Kilmer and Harris are worlds apart in their theoretical rigor, they both agree on one thing: the ‘leading man’ persona is less an intrinsic quality of some actors and more a conscious approach to building a public image. To his credit – or detriment, if you’re his agent and/or publicist – Kilmer has never expressed much interest in playing the game. The actor turned down starring roles in movies as diverse as Blue Velvet, Interview With a Vampire, and The Matrix, inadvertently giving Keanu Reeves the genre career that Kilmer could easily have taken as his own. Meanwhile, Radcliffe – who was issued the standard former-child-actor narrative out of the gate – has refused to be neatly categorized as either a blockbuster star or a serious artist. Rather than dive into Serious Films™ by Serious Filmmakers™, Radcliffe has flittered between gothic horror and comedy, between action movies and supporting cameos. Both men possess the talent too be a Hollywood lead, but both men were also more interested in playing roles than being a star.

    And while this interest in playing the character actor may have cost Kilmer millions in his bank account – and put a small dent into Radcliffe’s pile of Harry Potter “fuck you” money – it has undoubtedly led to more interesting work. While we tend to gravitate towards the earlier roles of Kilmer’s career, his three-year range in the early 2000s – his druggie informant in The Salton Sea, his John Holmes in Wonderland, and, most importantly, his soldier in David Mamet’s Spartan – paint a far more interesting picture of the actor than any more traditional art film or blockbuster cinema. Here was an actor who was unafraid to take risks with his public perception, who might even enjoy the act of deconstructing his status as Hollywood leading man. Similarly, Radcliffe has demonstrated curiosity as an actor and a gleeful sense of humor towards his days as Hollywood’s boy wonder. It isn’t many people who would sign on for the role of Igor in a blockbuster adaptation of Frankenstein, especially when the main role of Victor Frankenstein was there for the taking. And late this summer, Radcliffe began work on Swiss Army Man, a movie about a man who off into the woods and becomes best friends with a dead body. In keeping with his alternative approach to acting, Radcliffe has described the film as having to the potential to be “one of the best things I ever do.”

    With Hollywood actors locked into increasingly longer contracts – and fitting their smaller projects into the gaps between shooting schedules – it’s become easy to view the role of Hollywood Leading Man as, in and of itself, a full-time gig. So even if their films aren’t as good as the ones they leave on the table – or perhaps especially in that case – it’s important to celebrate the careers of actors like Val Kilmer and Daniel Radcliffe, as different as they both might be. Each man had the chance to be a Hollywood leading man square in their sights and let it go in favor of more interesting and character-driven fare. Here’s to the actors that just want to act.

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  26. 15 Movie Stars Who Peaked in the ’90s

    http://screenrant.com/best-movie-stars-peaked-in-the-90s/?view=all

    VAL KILMER

    Val Kilmer was designed in a lab to be a movie star. The perfect mixture of matinee idol looks and savage acting ability, he stole the show in Top Gun (1986) and never looked back heading into the ’90s. Once there, he blew audiences away with brilliant work in The Doors (1991), Tombstone (1993), True Romance (1993) and Heat (1995), each of which were showered with acclaim and box office success. Come the middle of the decade, Kilmer was one of the country’s biggest names, elevated even further by smash hits like Batman Forever (1995) and The Saint (1997).

    2000 brought with it a major failure in the form of Red Planet, a film that foreshadowed the duration of Kilmer’s declining career. Bad decision projects Hard Cash (2002) and Felon (2008) soon followed, paired with stories of the actor’s difficult behavior onset. Come the 21st century, with the exception of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), Kilmer all but defines the word “has been” in Hollywood, a true shame given his prodigious talent. He’ll always be our Huckleberry.

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  27. #TopGun is 30: An Oral History of the Volleyball Scene (Photos)

    https://t.co/2zfykxgAeg

    Like

  28. Lebeua not to start waves but you mentioned usually if a movie double its budget domestically ity is a hit. Heat only scored 67 mill domestically and over 100 mill world wide it had 60 mill budget you called it a hit

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  29. A Love Letter To Shane Black’s 2005 Cult Classic ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’

    http://uproxx.com/movies/kiss-kiss-bang-bang-love-letter/

    Okay, so this is what we’re going to do: We’re going to talk about Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, the 2005 directorial debut of Shane Black, writer of films like Lethal Weapon and, later, writer-director of Iron Man 3. We shouldn’t need a reason to do this, because Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is great and people should talk about it a lot, but if you’re the kind of stickler who likes actions to have justifications, then allow me to point out Black’s latest film, The Nice Guys, opens this weekend. So there you go. We good now? We are? Great.

    Let’s talk about Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

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  30. I am sure people questioned his box office. It is werid an actor like kilmer was so loved in 90s but no one really saw his movies for him. Even dennis qauid an actor who failed ot reach a list had more leading hits then val. He was closer to a list then val.

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  31. Paramount may be developing a new movie franchise out of #TheSaint: http://share.ew.com/ucCDN5X

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  32. Armando Garcia

    Tombstone one of greatest Western movies. Up there with Shane, The Alamo, Red River, Cheyenne Autum,
    Armando Garcia, Esq
    Stanford BA 1973
    Columbia JD 1976

    Like

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