Val Kilmer Reveals the Reason He Didn't Want to Do 'Top Gun'

Val Kilmer's career could have looked a lot different had he followed his initial gut feeling on Top Gun. The New York Post reports that the 61-year-old actor said in his recently released documentary Val that when he was first approached about the movie, he didn't want to do it.

"Believe it or not, I didn't want to do Top Gun at first. I thought the script was silly, and I disliked warmongering in film," he said, going on to explain that the only reason he went forward with the future hit was because he was forced to. But I was under contract with the studio, so I didn't really have a choice."

In Top Gun, Kilmer played Iceman opposite Tom Cruise's Maverick. Kilmer explained that the two took their characters' animosity home with them. "I would purposely play up the rivalry between Tom's character and mine off screen as well," Kilmer says. "And what ended up happening is the actors, in true method fashion, split into two distinct camps. You had Maverick and Goose on one side, Slider, Hollywood, Wolfman and me, Iceman, on the other."

Elsewhere in the documentary, which is narrated by his son Jack due to the difficulty that Kilmer's stoma causes him to have when speaking, Kilmer shares a trove of videotape that he's shot throughout his life since he was a little boy. That footage includes audition tapes, birthday parties, footage of his kids and even candid backstage moments during the filming of his movies.

In the trailer for the documentary, Kilmer gave a health update now that he's in recovery following his battle with throat cancer. "I was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. I'm still recovering, and it is difficult to talk and to be understood. But I want to tell my story more than ever," he said.


Val premieres in theaters Friday, July 23 and streams on Amazon Prime starting Friday, Aug. 6.