Val Kilmer: An childhood marked by tragedy, its frustrating passage through Hollywood and a hard disease
“Dios quiere que camines, pero el diablo te manda una limusina”, dijo alguna vez Val Kilmer. Y su carrera tiene mucho de esa dualidad, que tan presente está en el documental Val (Amazon). Para esta producción, los directores Ting Poo y Leo Scott accedieron a filmaciones personales de Kilmer," class="com-link" data-reactroot="">los directores Ting Poo y Leo Scott accedieron a filmaciones personales de Kilmer, que van desde su infancia a su actualidad, para construir una meticulosa radiografía de un hombre atravesado por algunas extravagancias, pero cuyo talento se considera uno de los más importantes de su generación.
An childhood marked by tragedy
During his initial years, it could be assured that Val Kilmer's childhood was happy.Born on December 31, 1959, in a family of good position, the child enjoyed home life with his brothers, with whom he played to film all kinds of homemade movies.The little ones parodied their favorite films and found there the germ of a vocation.After participating in a student theater play, Val fell in love with the performance and with twelve years, his first professional work was in a hamburger advertising.But that experience that could be a fun space, ended up enraging him when he expressed his frustration by not being able to find his character's motivation.That almost comedy anecdote was a glimpse of almost obsessive professionalism that years later would be one of its main characteristics.
In 1977, a tragic accident would put an end to a happy childhood. Con 15 años, su hermano menor, sufrió un ataque de epilepsia y murió ahogado en una piscina. Según confesó en varias entrevistas, a Kilmer le tomó años recuperarse de esta pérdida: “Él era un artista asombroso.His talent captivated me and it could well have been a George Lucas or a Steve Spielberg (...).The truth is that after my brother's death, he took me about two or three years.A few weeks after that loss and with only 16 years, Kilmer entered the prestigious JULLIARD School of Action, becoming the youngest student once accepted in said establishment.
With twenty years, Val was increasingly committed to acting.His first great opportunity arrived in 1983, in Broadway's OSF work entitled The Slab Boys, in which he was relegated to a third place after the appearance of Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn, other young promises in ascent.That same year, Val also had his first work on television, in an educational short of the dangers of drunk, where he performed with an unknown Michelle Pfeiffer.
Undoubtedly, Kilmer was always at the indicated moment, in the right place and formed what would soon be the new gene generation in Hollywood. La fama no le interesaba, solo quería actuar y ganar prestigio en eso que tanto amaba. Y aunque el cine nunca fue su prioridad, su primer protagónico llegó rápidamente, cuando en 1985 estuvo al frente de Top Secret.Immersed in his role, the actor diving in the psychology of his character, but the absurd comedy frame of that film did not allow himbittersweet.
Hurricane Top Gun
In the black book of bad decisions that an actor can take in Hollywood, one of them is surely to reject an offer from David Lynch.And that did Kilmer in 1985 when he told "no" to Blue Velvet's protagonist.Seen in retrospect, the interpreter justified that decision: "The script was too graphic and I was very shy at that time". En busca de un rol que lo motivara, llegó a sus manos Iceman, uno de los personajes centrales de Top Gun.Val read the script, but it was absolutely indifferent: “I didn't want that role.I didn't care that movie and I was not interested at that story at all ”.However, director Tony Scott wanted yes or yes to Kilmer and personally asked him to accept the role, under the promise of giving a greater dramatic thickness to Iceman.He reluctantly ended up accepting and without looking for him at all, thanks to the success of that film, his face became one of the most popular Hollywood.
Although fame owner and a slap that was increasing, Kilmer soon discovered that that did not mean getting the papers that most interested him.Obsessed by finding dramatic depth characters, he recorded at his house interpreting some parliaments of good boys and born to kill, titles that were managing in Hollywood.But neither Martin Scorsese nor Stanley Kubrick, responsible for these projects, summoned it.And after Willow's failure, another role that didn't excite him much, Val learned that Oliver Stone was preparing a film about The Doors.Without losing that opportunity, Kilmer was characterized as the iconic Jim Morrison and sent the filmmaker a homemade test.Stone was not very convinced, but his team persuaded him to hire the actor.In this way, in 1991 The Doors premiered and although the criticism of the film was disparate, the media agreed that it was Kilmer's best work on the big screen.
After some minor titles, in 1993 he was part of Tombstone and at two years he became the new Batman, after Michael Keaton and Tim Burton left the possibility of a third installment of the overcast.As detailed in the Val documentary, Batman's experience was eternally frustrating and the actor came to feel a mannequin who only indicated where to stand and not much more.
Perhaps frustrated by the lack of roles that would excite him genuinely, Kilmer began to earn a little desired fame, to be someone very conflictive. Caprichos, excentricidades y enfrentamientos con miembros del equipo empezaban a acompañar a su imagen.Inside, two opposite realities seemed to live.On the one hand, Kilmer did not fear castings and even being a very famous face, he never lowered his arms for doing the impossible to obtain those papers that he could enjoy so much (but did not always get).On the other hand, when they finally reached those dream protagonists, the conflicts in the set did not take long to appear.Joel Schumacher, director of Batman forever, said Kilmer: "He is the most psychologically disturbed person with the one I worked on my life".Meanwhile, Stone said the actor sometimes gave his opinions without warning how they could impact other people.Therefore, between racks, the nickname "Psycho Kilmer" emerged in those years.
The filmmaker Michael Mann summoned Kilmer for the story about a policeman and a thief, both trapped in a dynamic that reflected them much more than they could suspect.In that story, baptized fire against fire, Kilmer gave several luxuries.Not only did he work side by side with Robert De Niro but he could also play a character rich in nuances. Fuego contra fuego no solo es uno de los títulos clave del cine de los noventa, sino también otra muestra sobre la grandeza que Val Kilmer puede imprimirle a personajes de tradición clásica.
Dr island.Moreau was surely Kilmer's great disappointment in Hollywood, a project that only accepted because he was going to allow him to work with Marlon Brando.But that filming was an absolute disaster and Val crashed innumerable times with director John Frankenheimer, who later said about him: “Kilmer I don't like.I don't like his job ethics and I never want to be associated with him again ”.The relationship with Brando, although it was not bad, was not idyllic and the protagonist of The Godfather told him on one occasion: "Your problem is that you confuse the size of your talent with that of your check".
Fall and ascent of a star
During the following years, the actor could not find great roles. Su presencia en el cine era sostenida, pero la promesa de convertirse en una gran estrella se había desinflado. Su filmografía parecía dividirse entre grandes apuestas fallidas (El santo, Planeta Rojo, A primera vista), o pequeñas joyas que el público injustamente ignoraba (Spartan, Entre besos y tiros).But the toughest test came in 2014 when the first symptoms of a serious health problem began.
While she was staying in Cher's guest house (with whom she was in a couple between 1982 and 1984, a link that later gave way to a deep friendship), the actor said: “Suddenly, I woke up vomiting blood for the whole bed, it seemed like a scene taken from the godfather ".During that period, he underwent a tracheotomy and several interventions to combat what was diagnosed as throat cancer.And while the actor's intention was to keep that disease secret, at a press conference Michael Douglas accidentally leaked the issue when he said: “Val is a wonderful man, who is fighting exactly the same thing that happened to me, but thesituation does not look good in your case ". Kilmer negó que eso fuera cierto, pero al año siguiente (en 2017) anunció que efectivamente sí padecía cáncer de garganta.A short time later, he reported that he was cured, but that the treatment received left him with serious difficulties in speaking.
After several years in very low caliber feature films, Kilmer seeks to return to the first flat.On the one hand, his participation in Top Gun: Maverick, allowed him to meet one of the icon titles of his filmography.And on the other hand, Val's premiere earned him hidden wounds and showing himself to the public from a place stripped of Hollywood mystique.With new projects on the horizon and with the firm intention of not allowing the consequences of the disease that suffered its future, the actor re -trusts the performance as the tool that will allow him to transcend and find those characters that he never stopped looking for, since the beginning of his career.