Willow: Christian Slater Reveals He Reached Out To Val Kilmer After Taking the Role

Last year, Val Kilmer reprised his role as Tom "Iceman" Kazansky in Top Gun: Maverick but he was unable to do the same for Disney+'s Willow series. The actor played Madmartigen in the 1988 fantasy film of the same name, but after struggling with his health, filming the series during COVID was too risky and they ended up having to write the actor out of the show. However, Madmartigen's presence is felt in the series, and there are even some new characters that captured his spirit. In fact, one episode of the series features an appearance by Christian Slater who introduces himself as Madmartigan before revealing he is actually Allagash, a character who fought alongside Madmartigen in the Battle of Land's End. During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Slater spoke about reaching out to Kilmer after taking the role. 

"I did, yeah," Slater said when asked if he talked to Kilmer about Willow. "He's obviously in a very difficult situation, but I just expressed my love. And I certainly let him know that the spirit of Madmartigan was going to be running all the way through these eight episodes. It was just amazing to be on set and get the vibe and the sense of how appreciated and loved he is as an actor. So he was such a part of this, even though he wasn't physically able to be there."

Slater said of joining the series, "I was a huge fan of the movie. I fell in love with Val Kilmer and his energy and what he brought to the movie was just fantastic. Warwick [Davis] and I are also friends. We've crossed paths a lot in our history. We did a production of Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl about five years ago and we had a total blast together. So when I heard about a Willow series, I thought, 'Oh, this is interesting. This is unexpected. What a fun thing to update and reintroduce.' And when Jon [Kasdan] started to talk to me about the character and what he wanted to do, it just felt like a nice fit."

How Do Christian Slater and Val Kilmer Know Each Other?

Slater and Kilmer met while making True Romance, the 1993 Tony Scott film that was written by Quentin Tarantino. In the movie, Slater occasionally seeks advice from Elvis who was played by Kilmer. 

"That was probably the first time we'd met," Slater told THR. "He was amazing. He was a great Elvis and just a very interesting guy. We've gotten to work together a few other times since, and he always brings a very interesting, quirky, and unpredictable energy to what he does. So Allagash would be the kind of guy that Madmartigan would have hung out with. These two guys would've been going at each other and competing for numerous things throughout their friendship and loyalty."

Willow is now streaming on Disney+.