Val Kilmer Opens Up About Reprising ‘Iceman’ Role in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

Actor Val Kilmer gets to play Tom Kazansky, better known as “Iceman,” in Top Gun: Maverick and he’s talking about playing him again. And it’s a unique thing since he and Tom Cruise are the only actors from the original movie in this one. Kilmer has been in many movies ranging from the funny Top Secret! to his brooding portrayal of Jim Morrison in The Doors.

What did he like about playing “Iceman” again? He tells People that it was “like being reunited with a long lost friend.” Val Kilmer adds that “the characters never really go away. They live on in deep freeze. If you’ll pardon the pun.” As you might recall, “Iceman” was the rival pilot to Maverick, played by Cruise. The 1985 movie is beloved by many people and helped send Kilmer’s career to new heights.

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Actor Val Kilmer Recalls ‘Camaraderie’ In Original Cast

For him, there was something special about Top Gun yet he wasn’t interested at first. “My main joy was the camaraderie of the cast, [producers] Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, along with the incredible, unflappable enthusiasm of [director] Tony Scott and Tom Cruise,” Kilmer also tells People. When asked about hanging around Cruise when not on the screen in the original film, he says, “I am happy to announce we have home movies to prove how much fun we had!”

Do you know who really wanted Kilmer in the movie? Cruise. He was adamant that Kilmer makes an appearance in this sequel. Bruckheimer talks about it. “He said, ‘We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film,'” the producer tells People in an earlier interview. “And he was the driving force. We all wanted him, but Tom was really adamant that if he’s going to make another Top Gun, Val had to be in it.”

Movie Producer Bruckheimer Has Some High Praise For Kilmer

Kilmer makes his appearance in the movie after battling throat cancer. Bruckheimer had some high praise for the actor, too. “He’s such a fine actor, and he’s such a good individual,” he said. “We had such a good time on the first one and wanted to bring some of the gang back together again.”

Another classic Kilmer move role is in Tombstone where he plays Doc Holliday opposite Kurt Russell and Sam Elliott. Here’s how good Kilmer is as an actor. Elliott says he would just go to the set to watch him work. Imagine having an actor like Elliott just drop by and see Val Kilmer do his work in the movie. That’s pretty amazing and says a lot about the type of actor Kilmer is in different roles.