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Val Kilmer

Val Kilmer

Birthday: 31 December 1959, Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth Name: Val Edward Kilmer
Height: 182 cm

Val Kilmer was born in Los Angeles, California, to Gladys Swanette (Ekstadt) and Eugene Dorris Kilmer, who was a real estate developer and aerospace equipment distributor. His mother, born in Indiana, ...Show more

Val Kilmer
"When I figured out that to have money you had to work, I knew I couldn't hack a regular job. So I t Show more "When I figured out that to have money you had to work, I knew I couldn't hack a regular job. So I thought acting would be good, because basically you made your own hours, were ridiculously overpaid and got the girls. Don't laugh! That was the truth!" - On how he first came about considered acting as a career. Hide
My only challenge is to entertain. And I accomplish my task better when I myself am entertained by w Show more My only challenge is to entertain. And I accomplish my task better when I myself am entertained by what I am doing. I am very critical of myself, I constantly set the bar higher and higher. I try to surpass myself. That's all. But I also know how to preserve myself, to not let myself get bedazzled by the smoke and mirrors. Hide
"For my audition, I did a monologue from one of my plays. I couldn't find anything contemporary that Show more "For my audition, I did a monologue from one of my plays. I couldn't find anything contemporary that they wouldn't have seen hundreds of times before. I didn't know what I was doing, but it worked." - On his Juilliard audition. Hide
New Mexico is my home. It has never been anything but home. The ranch has rivers and canyon, everyth Show more New Mexico is my home. It has never been anything but home. The ranch has rivers and canyon, everything imaginable. I can ride, hunt and fish. At the same time, ranching is grueling, difficult work. It's like acting, to be successful at it, you have to work hard. I take it very seriously. Hide
I'd be in a bad western on a good horse any day of the week. It's such a fantastic genre of film. I'd be in a bad western on a good horse any day of the week. It's such a fantastic genre of film.
Big movies are fun and it's great to fly on private jets and make a lot of money and all the things Show more Big movies are fun and it's great to fly on private jets and make a lot of money and all the things that are connected with Hollywood, but they take a lot of your own life. Hide
I feel safer in Johannesburg than in L.A. Violence comes out of the blue here. I've had friends who Show more I feel safer in Johannesburg than in L.A. Violence comes out of the blue here. I've had friends who have been carjacked, all kinds of things. Successful felons, criminals love L.A. It's so big, there's so many freeways to get on after you do your score. Because of its possibilities, L.A.'s the most sorrowful city in the world. Hide
The trick to being a good actor is getting so involved in your character that the camera disappears, Show more The trick to being a good actor is getting so involved in your character that the camera disappears, the 50 bored guys eating doughnuts disappear, friends disappear. To get to that point when you don't have to think about it, you're just acting and reacting in those circumstances. Hide
"Nothing's ever guaranteed. It's all math, like, 'This guy has better numbers, so give the job to hi Show more "Nothing's ever guaranteed. It's all math, like, 'This guy has better numbers, so give the job to him.' If the business people think they can make money with you, it's not, like, a deep conversation that they have about you. Actors can get into a rhythm of working where the confidence [about them] is like the stock market. Someone 'feels' good, so they pay whatever, which gives other studios confidence, like 'Those guys have good taste, they hired him,' so whether he or she is any good, you can do four or five jobs like that until you're discovered. This town is filled with mystery careers -- people who aren't discovered found out, and they keep giving money to them." - On having a successful acting career. Hide
I've done a lot of jobs that were just for money or were just the best things around at the time. I've done a lot of jobs that were just for money or were just the best things around at the time.
It's always been the same for me. I've always enjoyed acting, and I really love good actors; they're Show more It's always been the same for me. I've always enjoyed acting, and I really love good actors; they're such unique characters. I wish I could tell stories well, or tell a joke. Any time someone can do that it's so satisfying. Sean Penn, for instance, is a really good actor, and he can tell a good joke or story. But it's hard to do. Most actors have special talents that make them attractive, but they're often odd characters. Hide
"I was going to movies and watching TV, going to the theater a little bit. It was, like, 'Wow, you c Show more "I was going to movies and watching TV, going to the theater a little bit. It was, like, 'Wow, you could make a living doing this? Great! What could be better?' There isn't anything I could choose better." - On why he initially choose acting as a career while still a young man. Hide
Doing my first movie, I realized I could get into real bad habits. If you're the star, all you have Show more Doing my first movie, I realized I could get into real bad habits. If you're the star, all you have to do is show up, and 20 people say, 'Do you want anything? What is it? Let me get it for you.' Believe me, you get spoiled very quickly. I saw some of my contemporaries allow themselves to have that fame, thinking they could handle it. It messed them up. Hide
"It looked like it might not work out with Michael Keaton, so they asked Joel Schumacher, 'Who do yo Show more "It looked like it might not work out with Michael Keaton, so they asked Joel Schumacher, 'Who do you want for Batman?' When he said me, I asked my agent, 'Why? Who did they not get?' I'd met with Joel a couple of times before about other [movies]. I didn't know anything in terms of the cast, story or anything, but I said, 'Sure, sounds like fun.'" - On accepting his role as Batman. Hide
[on Christopher Nolan's Batman films] Well, they did what I hoped that we would have done with it. I Show more [on Christopher Nolan's Batman films] Well, they did what I hoped that we would have done with it. It's like with Spielberg and Lucas, they don't wonder what kids think, they go ask them! And that was my suggestion - why don't we talk to the people that really love it? Because I had childhood ideas and memories of Batman, and when you think of what Bob Kane dreamt up, he really understood something fundamental that's still entertaining us. I think because of Tim Burton's success with the first one, with Nicholson being so amazing, you can't help but want to see it over again. I think they got carried away with the idea of the bad guy being immune to the rules. Like in the first one, he really gets the hell kicked out of him and then thrown off the bell tower. I mean, he suffers. And that went away and it became sort of cute or something. It's entertaining, but I think the new films are more the original spirit. Hide
"It's the most fulfilling thing I can do and get paid for." - On theatre. "It's the most fulfilling thing I can do and get paid for." - On theatre.
"Every day was such a trial. It was a unique kind of hell. All the audience knows is the end result Show more "Every day was such a trial. It was a unique kind of hell. All the audience knows is the end result - and that's as it should be, but the experience of making it is quite different." - On filming Tombstone (1993). Hide
"I guess I'm one of the new generation of actors who have as little to do with the machinery of Holl Show more "I guess I'm one of the new generation of actors who have as little to do with the machinery of Hollywood as possible. We're colonizing whole chunks of cowboy territory; I never liked LA when I was growing up there as a kid, and I don't like it now. I've got my visits to that city down to a science: I make some people get up early, other stay up late -- and I can be in and out in a day." - 1992 quote. Hide
Interesting characters are troubled characters. The only problem I've had in my business is very few Show more Interesting characters are troubled characters. The only problem I've had in my business is very few people - unfortunately, very vocal - confusing the difficult role that I play with me. I play these guys, but I'm not like them. I've been accused of being difficult to work with. But that's like saying the football player's out of breath 'cause when he comes off the field having caught a hundred-yard pass he shouldn't be out of breath. He's not out of shape; he just went and did his job. Hide
I think spiritual perception comes from natural and healthy relationship to the land and I've had th Show more I think spiritual perception comes from natural and healthy relationship to the land and I've had that. I get an easy, automatic sense of myself in nature, a wholeness and I feel nowhere else. I think people should live where praying is most immediate. That's why I live in New Mexico. The physical terrain, the feeling, the environment and culture improve my life just by waking up there. Hide
Being successful doesn't change things. There's a painful, lonely part of acting because you're alwa Show more Being successful doesn't change things. There's a painful, lonely part of acting because you're always waiting. The thing about being a performer is doing, and when you have to wait, it's the same pain as when you're starting out and have no job. You think that thing will go away, but it doesn't. It just shifts. I remember Robert Duvall saying that being a successful actor is all about finding interesting hobbies, because if you don't have the right hobby, you die. It's very hard to maintain interest. Most actors don't. They become a little clichéd. You learn how to do tricks and stuff. Hide
I thought I was going to marry my last girlfriend, she was just so wonderful. Daryl Hannah, fantasti Show more I thought I was going to marry my last girlfriend, she was just so wonderful. Daryl Hannah, fantastic woman. We shared so many interests, and we really made each other laugh . . . she just fascinated me. But there's something fundamentally where we didn't . . . maybe almost like brother and sister, just so alike, that it couldn't . . . " - Brentwood Magazine, October 2003. Hide
I listened to a lot of records. I smoked quite a few cigarettes and that - the smoking - stayed with Show more I listened to a lot of records. I smoked quite a few cigarettes and that - the smoking - stayed with me unfortunately! And I copied his voice in much the same way as I would learn an accent. With a lot of work, I got it. I found Jim's voice. Whenever people see me singing, it's really me singing. It's live. Oliver [Oliver Stone] was counting a lot on the spontaneity and the authenticity, especially in the concert scenes. Everything was prerecorded just in case but I ended up performing it all live. It is all a thing of imagination and one can have the tendency to underestimate it. Physically, I enjoyed myself a lot when I had to gain weight to incarnate Jim Morrison at the end of his life. When he is in a stupor, intoxicated by alcohol and drugs, he resembles Karl Marx. The make-up artists took Polaroids and showed them to the Doors guitarist and to Alain Ronay to get their approval. They were amazed by the resemblance and that helped me a lot. - On becoming Jim Morrison for The Doors (1991). Hide
Upon playing Batman: "I've done an absurdly commercial cartoon and now I'm more likely to get hired Show more Upon playing Batman: "I've done an absurdly commercial cartoon and now I'm more likely to get hired for a job I couldn't get hired for before, because I hadn't done enough movies. It's so rare when an actor gets hired because he's right for the role - it just doesn't figure into it." Hide
I probably complained more when I was younger. The movie industry can be frustrating but I think som Show more I probably complained more when I was younger. The movie industry can be frustrating but I think sometimes I could have been more helpful, approaching a film as a partnership rather than being critical of a director's ignorance. I wasn't sensitive to the fact that it's very hard to direct. Hide
I would do a bad western with a good horse any day of the week. I would do a bad western with a good horse any day of the week.
Poetry is a very subjective and intimate expression. It's literally your heartbeat. Your rhythm. The Show more Poetry is a very subjective and intimate expression. It's literally your heartbeat. Your rhythm. The song of your soul. It's superconcentrated. It's a dense piece of yourself. Hide
"Parts. Little people are very funny. They already know that life is weird. So that part was fun. My Show more "Parts. Little people are very funny. They already know that life is weird. So that part was fun. My co-star, I ended up marrying - that was fun. We went to New Zealand and we went to Wales. All the traveling was fun but wearing the pink dress wasn't fun." - On if filming Willow (1988) was fun. Hide
I was given a copy of that script because at one point I was involved with Dune (1984). It would hav Show more I was given a copy of that script because at one point I was involved with Dune (1984). It would have been my first job for damn near a year. So, Dave (Lynch) gave me the script and it was straight-out, hard-core pornography before page 30. I never finished it. I said, 'Good luck, but I can't do this.' It isn't what he ended up making. THAT movie, I WOULD have done. - On why he turned down David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986). Hide
It hurts. I miss my kids. I miss my kids in so many ways that I can't explain. It hurts. I miss my kids. I miss my kids in so many ways that I can't explain.
There are only three reasons to do a movie: the cast, the director, the role. Like I say, you live i Show more There are only three reasons to do a movie: the cast, the director, the role. Like I say, you live in a minute of screen time, but to prepare for the minute takes much more than a day. You'd better be excited about what those moments are, even if they're the hardest moments. Or the smallest. Hide
(2011) I think I shortchanged myself in terms of my acting career, because it's a very hard job to d Show more (2011) I think I shortchanged myself in terms of my acting career, because it's a very hard job to do well and there are many, many, many talented artists. And I didn't take advantage of those opportunities like most of my peers, where there's a real consistency. Once you achieve a certain level of fame, you can secure it with money and you can secure it with relationships, and I just lived in New Mexico for 25 years. Hide
It may or may not sound pretentious. But I've turned down, consciously and specifically, many jobs I Show more It may or may not sound pretentious. But I've turned down, consciously and specifically, many jobs I knew would have been a pretty surefire way to go about making a lot of money, being recognized and gaining power in the industry. Hide
"I'm very lucky in that I haven't cultivated fame. Which, from what I've seen of my contemporaries, Show more "I'm very lucky in that I haven't cultivated fame. Which, from what I've seen of my contemporaries, takes an enormous amount of time. I have a lot of respect for people that do it and they're successful at it ... Especially people that aren't such talented actors." - Quote from 2001. Hide
[on acting in Heat] Well imagine being able to say, "Al and Bob" for the rest of your life. Not many Show more [on acting in Heat] Well imagine being able to say, "Al and Bob" for the rest of your life. Not many people can do that. I have seen Bob, giggling like a school girl in a van in the middle of the night, because we have to be quiet cause they are filming outside... I have been hugged by Al Pacino in the middle of downtown LA like he was my older brother. I have shot live rounds from high powered assault weapons over Bob's head while rehearsing lines from our film. I got to kiss Ashley Judd. I sometimes lived at Michael Mann's house. I am in one of the greatest cops and robbers films in film history, has to be in the top 20. I am on the poster for goodness sake. What an honor! Priceless experience. Watching ALL the actors do their thing. We all work hard but when you are with the icons, you get really squared away. Loved every minute of it. Hide
Being called Jim made it easier for Oliver [Oliver Stone] and probably for me. In the end that appro Show more Being called Jim made it easier for Oliver [Oliver Stone] and probably for me. In the end that approach was healthy because I don't believe you've got to go out and shoot dope to play Jim Morrison. - On if the rumors were true about Kilmer insisting being called Jim Morrison while filming The Doors (1991). Hide
Acting is not a science. Anybody who believes that their success exists in relation to their goals i Show more Acting is not a science. Anybody who believes that their success exists in relation to their goals is deluding themselves; unless you think of a career in terms of financial goals. I have nothing against Tom Cruise, but he must have a large capacity to deal with the business side of movies. Hide
The only time it's ever like work is when you don't like what you've done. The only time it's ever like work is when you don't like what you've done.
He was basically a nerd, and he really had wonderful qualities. I've never really played a hustler b Show more He was basically a nerd, and he really had wonderful qualities. I've never really played a hustler before, but he was absolutely a world-class hustler. A liar lies and a thief steals from you, but a hustler gives you something that you don't mind parting with your money for. You're entertained by the meal or the sex or the impression that something is going to happen. You're given a sense of well-being, and he was good at it. - On his character John Holmes for the movie Wonderland (2003). Hide
I think John Holmes is one of the first twenty or fifty people that fulfilled Andy Warhol's prophecy Show more I think John Holmes is one of the first twenty or fifty people that fulfilled Andy Warhol's prophecy that one day everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes. People who had nothing to do with pornography, or had any interest in it, knew who John Holmes was. And somehow it was famous, at least in LA, that Canoga Park was the pornography center of the planet. I still don't know why, but I knew that as a kid. Hide
(2011) I don't believe in death. I think it's just a state of mind. The physicists now are starting Show more (2011) I don't believe in death. I think it's just a state of mind. The physicists now are starting to catch up with artists or the witch doctor, the healer, because now they can prove mathematically that everything's just a point of view. Hide
(On his youthful drug experimentation) If marijuana was supposed to make you mellow, I would be like Show more (On his youthful drug experimentation) If marijuana was supposed to make you mellow, I would be like, "The cops, the cops, the cops . . ." I was what you call the buzz kill. Hide
"I liked being Doc Holliday. It's fun to be insightful and aristocratic, to stand up for your friend Show more "I liked being Doc Holliday. It's fun to be insightful and aristocratic, to stand up for your friend and make sacrifices for him. It was fun to be arrogant like he was and have the goods to back it up. He was a very noble character. Although, let's not forget, he did kill a lot of people." - On Tombstone (1993). Hide
"It made me consider time differently, because my year ends when the year ends. I blame my birth dat Show more "It made me consider time differently, because my year ends when the year ends. I blame my birth date for being hung up about time."- On his New Year's Eve birthday. Hide
[Prior to his divorce from Joanne Whalley]: "It's great. Instead of going out to parties, I go home Show more [Prior to his divorce from Joanne Whalley]: "It's great. Instead of going out to parties, I go home to my family." Hide
It's probably fair to say I have taken myself too seriously on some jobs. I'm sure I'm more guilty o Show more It's probably fair to say I have taken myself too seriously on some jobs. I'm sure I'm more guilty of being difficult than I'd like to remember. I don't regret my desires; I've regretted the way I would communicate my desires. Maybe I've lost a job because of some rumor, I doubt it. But nobody good that I've worked with has ever said anything negative about me, because we've never had a negative experience. By good, I mean directors who do their homework, people that are passionate, crazy, never sleep, and do like I do and just go after it. Hide
"When they decide they want to expand their repertoire of facial expressions, say, play a character Show more "When they decide they want to expand their repertoire of facial expressions, say, play a character part, or do a period piece, it's often their fate, tragically, that they fail. Few actors have learned about acting by doing successful movies. Tom Cruise has, and Tom Hanks." - On mainstream box-office actors. Hide
There are some directors I should have worked with. I'd like to have worked with Altman [Robert Altm Show more There are some directors I should have worked with. I'd like to have worked with Altman [Robert Altman] - I turned him down a couple of times when I was younger. My thing now is if it's a good director I'll never say no - I'm just gonna say yes from now on. (2004) Hide
Val Kilmer's FILMOGRAPHY
as Actor (63)
Val Kilmer Val Kilmer'S roles
Mentor
Mentor

General Cauliffe
General Cauliffe

Brilliant Lunatic
Brilliant Lunatic

John Cologne
John Cologne

Joe Manditski
Joe Manditski

Hofstadder
Hofstadder

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