“They take your breath away”: Val Kilmer Felt He Was Tortured Into Accepting Tom Cruise’s $357M Top Gun Role After Director Became Obsessed With Batman Star

Val Kilmer Felt He Was Tortured Into Accepting Tom Cruise's $357M Top Gun Role After Director Became Obsessed With Batman Star
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Hollywood star Val Kilmer is widely recognized for his role in the 1986 action drama Top Gun. While the role of Iceman is known to be one of his most popular characters, it comes as a surprise to fans that he initially rejected the offer to portray Maverick’s rival in the movie. The actor has opened up about how he really felt about the movie and was not interested in joining its cast. However, director Tony Scott was keen on having the Tombstone star as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky alongside Tom Cruise.

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Actor Val Kilmer in Top Gun.
Top Gun (1986)

Read More: “He’s a really sophisticated artist”: Robert Downey Jr. Had The Time of His Life Working With Val Kilmer Despite ‘Batman’ Director Berating His Unprofessionalism

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Val Kilmer Did Not Care About the 1986 Film Top Gun

Val Kilmer has opened up about his initial resentment toward the 1986 movie Top Gun in his memoir, I’m Your Huckleberry. He has shared that while Tony Scott was eager to meet him and offer him the role of Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, he had no interest in the action drama starring Tom Cruise.

Val Kilmer
Val Kilmer

The memoir states that Kilmer did not care about the movie and had no interest in its story. “I didn’t care about the film. The story didn’t interest me,” he mentioned in his book. It is believed that the 63-year-old actor was looking forward to landing a role in a Stanley Kubrick film at the time.

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He even went to London to submit his audition tape. However, he was disappointed after he was unable to meet the director. The movie is believed to be Full Metal Jacket, which was released in 1987 at the box office.

Val Kilmer and Tony Scott
Val Kilmer and Tony Scott

Unlike Kubrick, Scott was keen on meeting the actor, despite his rejection. And he eventually decided to give Top Gun a go, after his agent insisted him to at least meet the director. And Kilmer was nothing but surprised about Scott’s enthusiasm to have him in the 1986 action drama.

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Read More: “He was a very disciplined drinker”: Batman Actor Val Kilmer Had To Go To Therapy After His $32M Movie As Top Gun Star Became Nearly Unrecognizable

Tony Scott Eventually Cast Val Kilmer As Iceman

Val Kilmer’s agent at the time has shared that Tony Scott was obsessed with having Kilmer in his movie. So, he convinced the actor to audition for the role. The Willow actor, who had no interest in landing the role, aced a huckster audition with very little effort.

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Behind the scenes of Top Gun (1986)
Behind the scenes of Top Gun (1986)

However, it still did not lead the Top Gun director to question his decision to cast him in the movie, and he chased him down to offer the role. “The moment I got into the elevator, the director ran after me and slid his arm in to block the door,” he shared.

Scott also assured him that although the script was “insufficient” at the time, it would get better. Kilmer recalled the incident during an interview as he described how Scott told him about how fascinating it would be to work with jets.

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Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in Top Gun
Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise in Top Gun (1986)

“They take your breath away,” he recalled the late filmmaker’s words before adding, “He then proceeded to imitate aircraft sounds and motions as if we were six years old.” He told Kilmer that he was perfect for the role and assured him that he and his co-stars would be “kings” after starring in the Tom Cruise starrer.

Top Gun is available on Paramount+.

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Read More: Harrison Ford Never Got to Work With Robert Downey Jr after Rejecting $16M Movie Role That Went to Val Kilmer

Source: Daily Beast

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Written by Laxmi Rajput

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.