Val Kilmer during Mercedes-Benz Spring 2006 L.A. Fashion Week - Davis Factor, Dean Factor, Paul DeArmas and Michael Baruch Kick Off Dinner at Mr. Chow Restaurant in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Donato Sardella/WireImage)
Movies - TV
Val Kilmer Had A Hard Time Channeling The 'Vicious Violence' Of Heat
Val Kilmer had a bit of a reputation as a difficult actor to work with for much of his career, but if the documentary "Val" taught fans anything, it's that he's a real artist with a gentle soul. So, during the filming of the 1995 crime drama “Heat,” this gentle soul naturally found it difficult to channel the vicious violence that his character Chris Shiherlis exhibited.
Speaking to Deadline, Kilmer reflected on trying to find a way to connect with the character's proclivity for violence, saying, "I am not familiar with violence. I've never hit anyone in my whole life. Not once. I've prevented some fights, but never struck a soul. So Chris was a real challenge. I had to find the actions which would trigger the impulse to be violent to the point of murder, instantly."
Kilmer's take on Chris made the character feel like a real person, full of conflict and contradiction. Much of that was down to Michael Mann's writing, but Kilmer's comment on the way violence surprises with its suddenness, as if coming from somewhere other than the person meting it out, represented a real talent for insight.