Val Kilmer just came out with his documentary this weekend on Amazon Prime Video. The documentary made its world premiere at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and it is getting some solid reviews from the critics.
The documentary captures every important moment in Kilmer’s life. His famous movies, his audition tapes, his acting classes, his marriage to Joanne Whalley, his divorce from her, all have been part of this wonderful film that brings forth the journey of a star at his best and his worst.
Val Kilmer has been recording his life for the past 40 plus years and this footage forms the core of the documentary. The 90 minutes worth of home videos shot by Kilmer, provides an in-depth insight into not only his personal life but also into some of his iconic roles.
One such role has been Kilmer’s 1995 Batman in Batman Forever. Kilmer opens up about his experience with the role and shines a new perspective onto one of his most remembered characters, talking about how he did not enjoy working on the film.
He mentions his excitement for the role initially and how it took its root. When Val Kilmer was in second grade, his father took him to the sets of the hit 1960’s TV show Batman, which starred Adama West. He recalls being enamored and excited about getting the chance to sit in the Batmobile. It is partly due to this when he was offered the role of DC Comics hero, Batman in Batman Forever he accepted it without even reading the script, or even going over who the director was ( Joel Schumacher).
“I took the part without even reading the script….But whatever boyish excitement I had going in was crushed by the reality of the Batsuit.”
Now it seems like he regrets his haste and lack of judgment as he recalls vividly his experience in the 1995 blockbuster.
“When you’re in it [Batsuit], you can barely move and people have to help you stand up and sit down. You also can’t hear anything and after a while people stop talking to you, it’s very isolating. It was a struggle for me to get a performance past the suit, and it was frustrating until I realized that my role in the film was just to show up and stand where I was told to.”
In an interview with the Modern Day, you can see him mourning about not being able to flex his acting muscles in the role. He even mentions how Tommy Lee (Two-Face) and Jim Carrey ( The Riddler) got to have their shining moments and huge performances, while he was crushed under the heavyweights of his masks and costumes.
“Actors like Tommy Lee Jones had designed this whole performance, and so had Jim Carrey…It was just so huge I think it made no difference what I was doing,”
He laments that he was not able to do much with his role. He was reduced to a “soap opera” actor whose only role was to put his arms on his hips and turn to Nicole Kidman.
“I tried to be like an actor on a soap opera. The way I would turn to Nicole. Go count how many times I put my hands on my hips. I don’t how they come up with this style of acting but they seem to go ‘Go to soap opera school.”
Killmer who is currently battling his throat cancer was even offered the role a second time, but he refused it in favor of playing the title role in The Saint, which according to him was like “10 roles in one”.
Kilmer’s film is emotional and is a reality check, it gives a peek behind the curtains of some lavish movies. Written by Kilmer but performed by his son Jack, Val the documentary outlines what movie stars go through in their daily life.
Batman Forever is streaming on HBO Max and Val on Amazon Prime, let us know what you think of them.