We recently caught up with Val Kilmer, who has been busy touring and promoting his latest screenplay ‘CinemaTwain’, where he plays the role of Mark Twain in this coming of age story, which he wrote and directed. The show which has received rave reviews, is currently being shown at cinemas across the US. We also spoke to Val about his art work, which he has also been busy with. Here is what he had to say:
Let’s talk about your latest shows and tour of CinemaTwain. First of all, how long have you been screening this show for and how did you first come up with the concept?
I’d been looking for a film to direct and found an original story in two authors I greatly admire, Mark Twain and Mary Baker Eddy. Both self-made self-educated geniuses who each redefined their respective interests and vet wildly successful, doing it. So, I wrote a screenplay framing around Twain’s obsession with Eddy. It’s a coming of age live story even though it’s at the end of his life. It’s a remarkable story and set at a remarkable time of change for our nation. I was just like every American forced to read him in grade school. I loved his hidden deep truths like Shakespeare- even in comedy he hits us with deep truth in everything he says.
What has been one of the biggest highlights of playing Mark Twain and what type of preparations did you do in order to get into the character?
Years and years of singing the old gospels songs and mumbling around my ranch like an old man in the south. Driving my kids crazy…as far as a highlight? I’m thrilled that we’ve had almost 100% standing ovations everywhere we screen the film. This isn’t bragging although to quote our hero “I was born modest, but it wore off…” it’s just the quickest way to communicate how audiences have responded to the play. Twain is probably American’s greatest comedian because of his soy and dedication to stand for all Americans!
As an actor, you have played some brilliant characters and been in some amazing movies over the years. Have you found being a one-man act to be a lot more pressure on you rather than being part of a whole cast of actors?
No it’s always the same large role, small role- you only have so many hours in the day to get the moment right. A smaller role just gives you more time to focus on the purity of the moment- and a one-man show allows you to FLOW. But it takes years of isolation to get the music right.
If you could pick two favorite characters you have played over the years who would they be and why?
Hamlet and Twain. Because they are tragic geniuses.
What are your plans for Cinema Twain and what can we expect to see next?
I’m making a feature film and you can get details to invest at valkilmer.com
You are also a very gifted artist, has this always been a part of your life, and where can fans find and purchase your art?
Thank you very much! I disagree, but people are buying the stuff so mum’s the word….My work is also available on my website.
What are some of the inspirations and influences behind your art work?
I’ve loved art my whole life and I’m just trying to be honest and in the moment- honest about my failings, my dreams- my pride. I try to be courageous but it’s hard when you come back around knowing that someone is going to look at your doodle and judge you very, very specifically about a small part of your life. But if you get it right like the piece I made, I’m looking at, it’s BETTER than you could ever dream up on you own. And I get to act like I had something to do with it… heaven! Beats workin’!
To catch a screening of CinemaTwain and for a Q&A with Val, check out the following dates and purchase tickets at: www.ValKilmer.com.
- Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 7:30 PM, Stockbridge Theater, 5 Pinkerton Street, Derry, NH
- Tuesday, March 21, 2017 @ 7:30PM, Nyack Levity Live, 4210 Palisades Center Dr A – 401, W Nyack, NY
- Friday, March 24, 2017 @ 7:30PM, SVA Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street, NY, NY
- Wednesday, Mar 29, 2017 @ 8:00PM, Irvine Improv, 527 Fortune Dr, Irvine, CA