Val Kilmer Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (107)  | Personal Quotes (50)  | Salary (6)

Overview (3)

Born in Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameVal Edward Kilmer
Height 5' 11¾" (1.82 m)

Mini Bio (1)

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, was from a Swedish family, and his father was from Texas. Val studied at Hollywood's Professional's School and, in his teens, entered Juilliard's drama program. His professional acting career began on stage, and he still participates in theater; he played Hamlet at the 1988 Colorado Shakespeare Festival. His film debut was in the 1984 spoof Top Secret! (1984), wherein he starred as blond rock idol Nick Rivers. He was in a number of films throughout the 1980s, including the 1986 smash Top Gun (1986). Despite his obvious talent and range, it wasn't until his astonishingly believable performance as Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's The Doors (1991) that the world sat up and took notice. Kilmer again put his good baritone to use in the movie, performing all of the concert pieces. Since then, he has played two more American legends, Elvis Presley in True Romance (1993) and Doc Holliday in Tombstone (1993). In July 1994, it was announced that Kilmer would be taking over the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne from Michael Keaton.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Denise P. Meyer < dpm1@cornell.edu>

Family (4)

Spouse Joanne Whalley (28 February 1988 - 1 February 1996)  (divorced)  (2 children)
Children Mercedes Kilmer
Jack Kilmer
Parents Kilmer (Ekstadt), Gladys Swanette
Kilmer, Eugene Dorris
Relatives Kilmer, Wesley (sibling)
Kilmer, Mark (sibling)

Trade Mark (2)

In many of his movies, he twirls small objects (coins, pencils, etc.) with his fingers.
He rubs the first two fingers of his right hand together. Particularly in tense scenes, but also where he is not speaking.

Trivia (107)

Attended Chatsworth High School with Kevin Spacey and Mare Winningham.
Ranked #62 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Co-authored play "How It All Began," performed at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Public Theatre, in 1981.
Was at the time the youngest student ever accepted into Juilliard's drama department. His record has been supplanted by Juilliard student Seth Numrich, who was admitted at 15 in 2002.
Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando infuriated director John Frankenheimer on the set of The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996). Frankenheimer later vowed to never work with Kilmer again.
While being let out of the metal cage during the filming of the crossroads scene in Willow (1988), the rope holding the cage up broke and the cage landed on Kilmer's foot, nearly breaking it. Later on in the film, Kilmer (who played swordsman Madmartigan) can be spotted having difficulty walking.
Met first wife, British actress Joanne Whalley, when they filmed the 1988 fantasy, Willow (1988). They had two children: daughter Mercedes Kilmer (born in 1991) and son Jack Kilmer (born in 1995).
Is the second actor to play Batman in the movie franchise. He succeeded Michael Keaton (Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992)) and preceded #3 George Clooney (Batman & Robin (1997)); #4 Christian Bale (Batman Begins (2005); The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012)) and #5 Ben Affleck (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)). If counting the two different film serials and the television series, then Kilmer is the fifth actor to play Batman. The first 15-chapter film serial, Batman (1943), was released in 1941 and starred Lewis Wilson. The second 15-chapter film serial, Batman and Robin (1949), was released in 1949 and starred Robert Lowery. The TV series, Batman (1966), starred Adam West.
Did his own singing while playing Jim Morrison in The Doors (1991). The real members of the band said they had difficulty distinguishing Kilmer's voice from that of Morrison's.
Turned down the role of Ponyboy in The Outsiders (1983) because he was working with a theater company at the time, and if he had pulled out, the show would have been cancelled and his fellow actors out of a job.
Got the role of Chris Shiherlis in Heat (1995) after Keanu Reeves, who was originally cast as Chris, backed out.
Contrary to popular belief, he enjoyed playing "Batman" despite his poor working relationship with Joel Schumacher during the production of Batman Forever (1995).
During the sled riding scene in Willow (1988), he can be seen wearing a black glove on his left hand.
Is the only blond actor to have played Bruce Wayne/Batman.
Oliver Stone once considered him for the role of Alexander the Great in his long-delayed Alexander (2004) project. Kilmer plays the father of Alexander, King Philip, opposite Colin Farrell in the Alexander role instead.
Did not want to appear in Top Gun (1986) but was forced to do so because of contractual obligations.
Appeared in Tombstone (1993) opposite Charlton Heston. Five years later, he succeeded Heston in the roles of both Moses and God in The Prince of Egypt (1998).
Does a variation on his trademark of twirling objects in Willow (1988): he twirls a sword during the fight in the snow camp.
Has played two legendary rock and roll musicians: Jim Morrison and Elvis Presley.
He was 4' 11" when he entered high school. He acknowledged this on Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993).
Admits in interviews that he is a horrible cook.
After his first film, Top Secret! (1984), he went off and backpacked around Europe.
Enjoys scuba diving and traveling.
Filmed his part as Elvis Presley in True Romance (1993) in 1 day.
Good friends with actor Frank Whaley and musician David Crosby.
Has lived in New Mexico since 1983.
His first auditions were for commercials at 13 years old.
His parents divorced when he was 9 years old. His father, Eugene, died in 1993.
In 1995, Kilmer learned he was getting a divorce while watching CNN in a hotel room. "It was no fun," he has said.
In the past he used to send taped auditions to filmmakers, figuring they would be much better (and less pressure) than live auditions.
Loves buffalo (and owns several on his ranch in New Mexico).
Stated in 1999 that At First Sight (1999) was his most challenging role to date.
Turned down Patrick Swayze's role in Dirty Dancing (1987) because he didn't want to be perceived as a "hunk."
He turned down Kyle MacLachlan's roles of Dune (1984) and Blue Velvet (1986). In the latter case, he dismissed the script as "pure pornography". It turned out to be a different version to the final film. He regretted turning it down.
Volunteered to work with AmeriCares in 1998, with whom he visited Iraq in April 1998 to deliver food, medicine, and baby food.
He was in the Kalahari Desert in Africa researching a story he was writing about witch doctors when he was offered the Batman Forever (1995) Batman role.
Wrote poetry for actress Michelle Pfeiffer.
Broke his arm while filming The Doors (1991) when he performed a jump from the stage into the crowd and the stuntman failed to catch him. The injury has left Kilmer with an abnormal growth on his left elbow that can clearly be seen many times in Heat (1995).
Was originally set to play the lead role in The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) but asked to switch roles because of his divorce.
Keith Campbell has doubled for him in many films. His most recent double has been Chuck Borden.
Warwick Davis, Kilmer's co-star in Willow (1988), says in his audio commentary that the question he is most frequently asked is: "What was is it like to work with Val Kilmer?" Davis says he has very fond memories of working with Kilmer, stating that Kilmer had a great sense of humor and was very dedicated to the job.
While the movie The Missing (2003) was being shot about one hour from his New Mexico ranch, he called up his old friend Ron Howard [writer/director] and asked for a part. Ron gladly accepted and gave him a part which only took 3 days to film. Kilmer's scene is close to 13 minutes long, not counting the DVD's deleted scene.
He and Elvis Presley, whom Kilmer portrayed in True Romance (1993), were/are both said to have Cherokee ancestry.
Shares two roles with Peter Dobson. In True Romance (1993), Kilmer plays Elvis Presley, a role Dobson played in Forrest Gump (1994). Kilmer also plays Chris Shiherlis in Heat (1995), which was a remake of L.A. Takedown (1989), in which Dobson played the role.
Grew up in the San Fernando Valley the middle son of three boys (Mark the eldest; Wesley the youngest). During his high school years, Wesley drowned in the family's swimming pool, an incident Val claims inspired his subsequent performance in The Salton Sea (2002).
His work with the New Mexico Film Investment Program fueled a nearly 40-fold growth in the state's annual production revenue, from $3 million in 2002 to $117 million in 2006.
Kilmer was eventually succeeded in the role of "Batman" by Christian Bale after George Clooney vacated the role. In The Prince of Egypt (1998), Kilmer provides the voice of "God", while Bale played "Jesus" in Mary, Mother of Jesus (1999).
Val's father, who was from Texas, was of English, Welsh, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, French Huguenot, and German ancestry. Val's mother, who was from Indiana, was of Swedish descent.
Second cousin of journalist and poet Joyce Kilmer.
His paternal grandfather was a gold miner in New Mexico.
He and his old friend Kevin Spacey have both played iconic characters from DC Comics. Kilmer played Batman in Batman Forever (1995), and Spacey played Lex Luthor in Superman Returns (2006).
He turned down the lead role in Captain America (1990) in favor of The Doors (1991). Captain America later fought Batman, whom Kilmer played, in the 1996 DC vs. Marvel storyline.
Was succeeded as Batman by George Clooney.
To date (2007), he has appeared in one Tony Scott film per decade, for three decades. First was Top Gun (1986) in 1986, then True Romance (1993) in 1993, and then Deja Vu (2006) in 2006.
While promoting The Prince of Egypt (1998), he visited 6 countries in 5 days, stopping in Amsterdam, Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Paris and Zurich.
Attended high school with Mare Winningham and stated in his biography that "he was in love with her, cause she was old enough to drive and he wasn't".
Father, with Joanne Whalley, of daughter Mercedes Kilmer (born on October 29, 1991) and son Jack Kilmer (born on June 6, 1995).
Told Interview magazine during a 1991 conversation to promote The Doors (1991) that as a child, his family had employed a veteran of the Vietnam War, ongoing at the time, as a full-time babysitter. When the man found work elsewhere, the Kilmer family lost touch with him. Through Interview magazine they made an appeal for the Vietnam vet to reconnect with them.
Is a longtime board member of the New Mexico State Film Commission, which tries to persuade Los Angeles - based filmmakers and studios to film on location in New Mexico.
During the filming of Streets of Blood (2009), 50 Cent became good friends with Val Kilmer. The two actors bonded over their love of vintage cars and 50 Cent stunned Kilmer by giving him the keys of a 1965 Chevy Impala which the singer-turned-actor purchased for $100,000.
Made a personal appearance at the Big Apple Comic Book & Sci-Fi Expo in New York City. This was a two day fund raising event for several non-profit organizations as Kilmer donated all proceeds. [November 2007]
Playing in a production of David Mamet's "The Postman Always Rings Twice" in London. [July 2005]
Filming alongside Denzel Washington, Paula Patton and Jim Caviezel in Tony Scott's Deja Vu (2006), on location in New Orleans. [June 2006]
While on break from the set of his latest film, he joined former ambassador Joseph Wilson, Jonathan Richards, former CIA undercover agent Valerie Plame Wilson, Mary-Charlotte Domandi, Jane Fonda and Ali MacGraw in reading pieces from the new Eve Ensler book about ending violence against women and girls worldwide. Ticket-sale proceeds from this exclusive event went to various non-profit projects around the world. [June 2007]
Filming alongside Will Forte and Ryan Phillippe for Universal Picture's MacGruber (2010). [August 2009]
While on break from the set of Streets of Blood (2009) with 50 Cent, he joined Cuba Gooding Jr. in supporting the First Star Celebration for Children's Rights. [June 2008]
While promoting Comanche Moon (2008) and awaiting production of his latest film to start; joined Rosario Dawson, Jessica Alba, Katie Holmes, Gina Gershon and Kerry Washington in supporting V-Day and the global effort to end violence against women and girls. Ticket-sale proceeds from this event went to fund several non-profit non-violent humanitarian missions around the world. [January 2008]
Made a personal appearance for the 2007 Orchard Beach Classic Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Show in New York. This was a one day non-profit fund raising event to raise money for the families of police officers who were killed in the September 11th terrorist attack. [September 2007]
He has two roles in common with Adam West: (1) West played Doc Holliday in Sugarfoot (1957), Colt .45 (1957) and Lawman (1958) while Kilmer played him in Tombstone (1993) and (2) West played Batman / Bruce Wayne in Batman (1966), Batman: The Movie (1966), SuperFriends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (1984), The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians (1985), The New Adventures of Batman (1977) and Legends of the Superheroes (1979) while Kilmer played him in Batman Forever (1995).
He has two roles in common with Christian Bale: (1) Kilmer played Batman / Bruce Wayne in Batman Forever (1995) while Bale played Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and (2) Kilmer played Moses in The Prince of Egypt (1998) while Bale played him in Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014).
As of 2015, is the only actor to play Batman in a live action movie (not based on a TV series) to not be nominated/win an Academy Award for acting.
The only actor to have played both Doc Holliday (Tombstone (1993)) and Wyatt Earp (Wyatt Earp's Revenge (2012)).
Val Kilmer auditioned for the lead role in Full Metal Jacket (1987) that eventually went to Matthew Modine.
Is referenced frequently in Psych (2006). He made a surprise cameo in the series finale as the oft-referenced but never seen Detective Dobson.
He's a big fan of Michael Fassbender. The two became friends after working together on Song to Song (2017) and The Snowman (2017) and he invited Fassbender to the set of Life's Too Short (2011) when he made an appearance on the show.
He has expressed a desire to play a villain in a Batman film to Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne/Batman.
He and his son Jack Kilmer have both appeared in films directed by Shane Black: Val in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) and Jack in The Nice Guys (2016).
Married and divorced in February of a leap year: 1988 & 1996.
He was cast as Detective Fanning in Collateral (2004), but pulled out before filming began, due to schedule conflicts with Alexander (2004). Mark Ruffalo later took the role.
He turned down Kiefer Sutherland's role in Flatliners (1990).
He was considered for Keanu Reeves' roles in Point Break (1991) and The Matrix (1999). He was also originally going to star in Johnny Mnemonic (1995), but left the project after he was cast in Batman Forever (1995).
He was considered for Vincent Mancini in The Godfather: Part III (1990).
He was considered for Jeff Bridges's role in Blown Away (1994).
He turned down Denzel Washington's role in Crimson Tide (1995). Years later, he noted it was one of the few films that he wished he had agreed to be in.
He was originally considered for Bruce Willis' role in Bandits (2001).
He turned down the role of Jack Swigert in Apollo 13 (1995) order to film The Ghost and the Darkness (1996).
He turned down Clint Eastwood's role in In the Line of Fire (1993).
He was considered for Hugh Jackman's role in Swordfish (2001).
He declined to return for Batman & Robin (1997) due to his commitment with The Saint (1997) and lack of interest.
He was considered to play Jeffrey Wigand in The Insider (1999).
He was originally involved in Dark Matter (2007), but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
He turned down Woody Harrelson's role in Indecent Proposal (1993).
He was considered for Louis in Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994).
He was considered to voice the Beast in Beauty and the Beast (1991).
He turned down John Travolta's cameo in Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002).
He turned down William Baldwin's roles in Backdraft (1991), Sliver (1993) and Fair Game (1995).
He auditioned for the role of Sergeant Elias Grodin in Platoon (1986). According to Oliver Stone, he gave a bizarre audition, where he portrayed the character as an Indian shaman.
Joel Schumacher originally offered him the lead role in A Time to Kill (1996) during the production of Batman Forever (1995), but their working relationship became so strained during production of Batman Forever that Schumacher vowed never to work with Kilmer again, publicly stating that Kilmer had "mental health problems" that made him difficult to work with.
He was considered for Tubalcain in Noah (2014).
A Christian Scientist, he has starred in commercials for the Church. He credited his faith for curing his throat cancer although he did undergo surgery, chemo, and radiation, reportedly at the behest of his children, who are not Christian Scientists. He later denied having had cancer and blamed the conventional treatments for causing his "suffering".
He starred in "Slab Boys" with Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon on stage.
He performed in "As You Like It" in Minneapolis with Patti LuPone.
Charles Durning told William Bolander, during a conversation on the set of Forget About It (2006), that Val Kilmer was one of the most talented actors he had ever worked with. They worked together on The Man Who Broke 1, 000 Chains (1987) .
Born on exactly the same date as Geri Reischl (of "Brady Bunch Variety Hour" infamy).
Born at 7:58 AM (PST).
Due to surgery for throat cancer, he can no longer eat and must be fed intravenously.
He is 1/8th Cherokee: his father's grandmother was Cherokee. In Thunderheart (1992) he portrays a character who is 1/4th Sioux.

Personal Quotes (50)

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."
The only time it's ever like work is when you don't like what you've done.
"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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
"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.
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.
I've done a lot of jobs that were just for money or were just the best things around at the time.
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).
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.
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.
"It's the most fulfilling thing I can do and get paid for." - On theatre.
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.
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).
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.
"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.
"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).
I'd be in a bad western on a good horse any day of the week. It's such a fantastic genre of film.
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.
"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.
"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.
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.
"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.
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.
"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).
"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.
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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
It hurts. I miss my kids. I miss my kids in so many ways that I can't explain.
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.
[Prior to his divorce from Joanne Whalley]: "It's great. Instead of going out to parties, I go home to my family."
I would do a bad western with a good horse any day of the week.
(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.
(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.
(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.
[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.
[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.
I am taking time to share my life with fans. People have always been so kind to me and supportive and I never involved myself with any of that. I lived in the Pecos wilderness for 25 years - mud and log cabin, firewood-fed hot tub by the river, horses and buffalo, fishing, reading a book on a mountain top, sweating in the sweat lodge 'cause it's relaxing. It's [now] suddenly a real fun thing to talk to the whole world at the same time.
Why has Amazon taken over Hollywood in five minutes? Because they only [have] one objective: make the customer happy.

Salary (6)

Batman Forever (1995) $7,000,000
The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996) $6,000,000
The Saint (1997) $6,000,000
At First Sight (1999) $9,000,000
Red Planet (2000) $10,000,000
Blind Horizon (2003) $1,000,000

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro Pro Name Page Link

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed