Val Kilmer has revealed that he didn’t initially want to appear in the first Top Gun movie but begged to be in the upcoming reboot.
The actor played Tom “Iceman” Kazansky in the 1986 movie alongside Tom Cruise, but in his new memoir, I’m Your Huckleberry, he admits: “I didn’t want the part. I didn’t care about the film. The story didn’t interest me.
“My agent, who also represented Tom Cruise, basically tortured me into at least meeting Tony Scott saying he was one of the hottest directors in town.”
Kilmer said he even tried to self-sabotage the audition, by “looking like a fool or the goon.”
“I read the lines indifferently and yet, amazingly, I was told I had the part. I felt more deflated than inflated,” he explained.
Top Gun went on to become a worldwide box office smash, making stars of its young cast. It was Kilmer’s third feature-length movie role, following 1984’s Top Secret! and 1985’s Real Genius.
Decades later, when the sequel starring Tom Cruise was announced, the tables were turned; Kilmer initially wasn’t tapped to reprise his role as Iceman in Top Gun: Maverick. “As the Temptations sang in the heyday of Motown soul, ‘ain’t too proud to beg’,” Kilmer said – and his begging worked.
“The producers went for it. Cruise went for it. Cruise couldn’t have been cooler.…Tom and I took up where we left off. The reunion felt great,” Kilmer said of his role in the upcoming new movie.
Elsewhere in his memoir, Kilmer details his relationship with Cher, including how the singer was with him when he underwent his tracheotomy and chemotherapy sessions after being diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015.