There is a crime that Hollywood does not forgive. Being “difficult”. Any other, including murder, finds its defenders. If an actor demands perfection, refuses to reprise a million-dollar role, or questions the director, it’s over. Val Kilmer is one of the actors who joined the list of the complicated and saw his career fall apart faster than he built it.
For generations that didn’t live through the 1980s he lost relevance, but Val emerged as a Ryan Reynolds of his time, with a biting and straight comic vein, but he had more artistic aspirations. For a while, it looked like he would get everything he wanted.
When he reached his peak in the 1990s, Val Kilmer was coming from hits like Top Gun, Tombstone, The Doors (for which he was nominated for an Oscar), The Saint. When he accepted to be Batman, in Batman Forever, his life took an unexpected turn. His experience in the role was painful and despite having made millions, he did not accept to continue in the franchise. His giving up was seen more as a whim and a contempt that would pay dearly.
Projects became prevalent working with legends like Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, and Marlon Brando, among others. Like Johnny Depp, but without the same result. Dr Moreau’s Island was such a gigantic nightmare that it even ended his marriage. And, little by little, Val Kilmer disappeared.
From leading role, Val Kilmer was reduced to parts in smaller films, almost always unrecognizable after he gained weight. His portrayal of Oliver Stone‘s failed Alexander distracted a shocked audience from discovering that this out-of-shape man – even in costume – was the former teen idol.
And it got worse when in 2015, Val found out she had throat cancer. The surgery to remove the tumor was successful, but ended up with her voice. His image became scary, sad. But the actor doesn’t want our pity and has courageously decided to release the feature Val, a documentary about his life. It is not only rich because the actor’s life is noteworthy, but because Val Kilmer filmed behind the scenes, his life, his childhood and adult life, creating a rich collection to support his narrative.
He talks about the deaths that marked his personal life, he doesn’t just talk about the fights behind the scenes of films like Dr Moreau’s Island, he shows us his recordings of how chaotic it was.
The result of the documentary may not be what he is looking for. He assures you that he looks worse than he feels, but we can doubt it. It’s honest, it’s brave, but it’s deeply sad. To see how the final chapter will be written. Val is in the cast of Top Gun 2, there we will see his official farewell from the screens. My heart was hurt.