Val Kilmer Didn’t Want to Do ‘Top Gun,’ But Begged for Cameo in Sequel


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Val Kilmer in Top Gun
Val Kilmer in ‘Top Gun.’ Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

Completely honest. Val Kilmer is not holding back in his new book, I’m Your Huckleberry: A Memoir, and tells all about his time in the 1986 action film Top Gun.

“I didn’t want the part. I didn’t care about the film. The story didn’t interest me,” the Tombstone star, 60, wrote in the book, available now. “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.”

He then explained that he went to audition the role of Tom “Iceman” Kazansky “looking like a fool or the goon” and barely tried. “I read the lines indifferently and yet, amazingly, I was told I had the part. I felt more deflated than inflated,” he wrote. “I had to get out of there.”

In the book, he also detailed what it was like working alongside Cruise, 57, who led the film as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, noting that the three-time Oscar nominee was all about the work and less about the play.

“From day one he was laser-focused on a singular goal: to become the greatest action hero in the history of film. He was up nights learning lines, he spent every waking hour perfecting his stunts. His dedication was admirable,” he wrote. “Tom is a comrade I respect and admire, though as creatures we hail from galaxies far, far away from one another.”

Val Kilmer Im Your Huckleberry Memoir
I’m Your Huckleberry by Val Kilmer.

Later in the memoir, Kilmer reflected on his role in the upcoming sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, revealing he wasn’t contacted to be a part of it — so he asked to be.

“As the Temptations sang, ‘Ain’t too proud to beg.’ I’d not only contact the producers but create heartrending scenes with Iceman. Forget the fact that 30 years had passed … I remembered it like it was yesterday,” he penned. “The producers went for it. Cruise went for it. Cruise couldn’t have been cooler. And the next thing I knew I was back. Tom and I took up where we left off. As far as the film’s plot goes, I’m sworn to secrecy.”

I’m Your Huckleberry: A Memoir is out now.

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