Actor Val Kilmer poses for the Tri Star Pictures movie "Real Genius" in 1985. (Photo by  Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Val Kilmer's Formal Theater Training Got In The Way Of Having Fun In Top Secret!
With his background as a serious Juilliard-trained stage actor, Val Kilmer had trouble settling into the goofy world of screwball comedy for his debut film “Top Secret!” Coming from the world of theater and Shakespeare, Kilmer admitted that being silly on the set of “Top Secret!” wasn't really his style at first.
As Kilmer told ScreenCrush in a 2014 oral history celebrating the movie's 30-year anniversary: “My acting training is formal and I was fresh out of Hamlet-land and the Juilliard School. The boys always wanted me to have more fun, but I wanted to be good and I took it all way too seriously.”
Ultimately, Kilmer learned how to embrace the zaniness of movies like “Top Secret!” and “Real Genius” by actually trying to have a good time on set. He told ScreenCrush, “Message to young actors: When your bosses tell you to have more fun, believe them and do it. It doesn't happen that often!”