He's No Iceman
Affable actor Val Kilmer charms Dallas film enthusiasts at third annual Art ofFilm
If the film lovers who descended on the Hall of State for the third annual Art of Film weren’t already Val Kilmerfans, they certainly were after the actor’s appearance at the Dallas Film Society fundraiser.
The Dallas Film Society puts on the Art of Film to raise money for its mission to celebrate film, honor filmmakers, provide educational programs to students, and promote the City of Dallas and its commitment to filmmaking. Kilmer was this year’s honoree.
Kilmer — best known for his roles as Iceman in Top Gun, Jim Morrison in The Doors and Doc Holliday in Tombstone — was, in a word, delightful. He smiled through hundreds of photos with VIPs, charmed moderator Elvis Mitchell and the crowd during the conversation in the Al Hill Lecture Hall, and mingled affably with guests at the seated dinner.
Mitchell, former film critic at the Fort Worth Star Telegram and New York Times, chatted effortlessly with Kilmer, who shared dozens of amusing anecdotes. He reminisced about growing up between sequined cowboy Roy Rogers and psychopath Charles Mansion; witnessing Marlon Brando’s zeal for eating; making Francis Ford Coppola laugh; and being the butt of practical jokes from the makers of Top Secret, Kilmer’s first film.
Kilmer also admitted to having an “erratic” film career because he had no ambition in the business. Instead he was trying to challenge himself and “do what was hard and scary — like playing Moses in a musical,” he said.
“It’s a good rule,” he added. “Do what’s hard, and you learn the most.”
He also talked about opting for a quiet life in New Mexico, where he thought for sure he would do loads of Westerns, which he loves. Instead he got asked if he was the Neanderthal in the Geico ads.
“I was pretty insulted,” he said. “I replied, ‘No, I’m not. But I wish I had his money.’”
Among those laughing with Kilmer were Dallas Film Society chairman of the board Lynn McBee and husband Allan, Doris and Jack Jacobs, Laura Wilson, Kate Rose and T.J. Marquez, Jennifer Roberts, Blake and Tom Stephenson, Lisa Willis, Tanya Roberts, Pat Holder, Lindy Berkley, Katie Walters, Kacy Tolleson, and Amy Prestidge.
Even those who didn’t attend the Art of Film got a dose of Kilmer via Twitter. The star tweeted from spots around town — including this one from the Wyly Theatre, where Kilmer intends to bring Citizen Twain, his one-man play about Mark Twain.