Over the weekend Amazon Prime Video released their new documentary Val, an intimate documentary about the life and career of actor Val Kilmer. Assembled from recently shot material of the actor after his recent health issues and combined with the countless home movies that Kilmer has shot himself over the past decades the film goes in-depth on his most iconic roles and his place as a man in the world today. Among the sequences in the film that are movie-specific is naturally 1995's Batman Forever which saw Kilmer take on the titular role. In the doc, featuring narration written by Kilmer but performed by his son Jack, he opens up about his time on the film, which he didn't enjoy.
"I was in shock and disbelief, mostly because I had just been exploring a remote bat cave," Kilmer recalled about being offered the part. "By Hollywood standards Batman is the ultimate leading role and a dream come true. I took the part without even reading the script....But whatever boyish excitement I had going in was crushed by the reality of the Batsuit. When you're in it, you can barely move and people have to help you stand up and sit down. You also can't hear anything and after a while people stop talking to you, it's very isolating. It was a struggle for me to get a performance past the suit, and it was frustrating until I realized that my role in the film was just to show up and stand where I was told to."
In an interview with modern day Kilmer the actor lamented that his co-stars weren't encumbered by the masks and costumes they wore and were able to deliver huge performances.
"Actors like Tommy Lee Jones had designed this whole performance, and so had Jim Carrey...It was just so huge I think it made no difference what I was doing," Kilmer added. "I tried to be like an actor on a soap opera. They way I would turn to Nicole. Go count how many times I put my hands on my hips. I don't how they come up with this style of acting but they seem to go 'Go to soap opera school.'"
To further outline his history with Batman, Kilmer remembered that when he was in second grade his family was invited to the set of the Adam West-starring Batman TV series and he has a distinct memory of his father picking him up to put him in the Batmobile.
Batman Forever is now streaming on HBO Max while Val can be seen on Amazon Prime.