He then asked for questions from the audience, and immediately the subject turned to his experiences making 1995′s Batman Forever. “The cast was pretty amazing, and we spent a lot of time hanging out,” Kilmer recalled. “So I got to know some pretty interesting people. It was sad, though, because Jim Carrey had just lost his father and I lost my father right before I did Tombstone. So we talked quite a bit.”
Kilmer also offered up his thoughts on his Batman costume. “The suit takes an hour to get into, and you can’t do it by yourself, and then you can’t hear because there are really no earholes in it. Also you can’t turn your head and you can’t go to the bathroom by yourself. Plus, you fall over quite easily. It was like wearing a wetsuit that was several times tighter than one anyone else would wear, and then when you add the cape it’s almost psychedelic. Then I realized one day what wearing that suit was like. It was, ‘Oh! This is what being old feels like,’” the actor joked. “No one really listens to you any more. You can’t really talk or hear. You’re always falling over and someone has to help you go to the bathroom and get dressed.”
Later a fan asked for his thoughts on director Christopher Nolan’s Batman films. “They are doing what I hoped we would do, but didn’t do,” the actor replied to much laughter and applause. “Directors like Spielberg and George Lucas don’t wonder what kids think. They go ask them. That was my suggestion: ‘Why don’t we talk to the people who really love Batman?’ I had my own childhood memories of Batman, and when you think of what Bob Kane dreamt up, which led to so many stories and is still entertaining us decades later, you realize a billion dollar business has sprung up from that one idea he had. It’s really phenomenal.
“I think because of Tim Burton’s success on the first film and Nicholson being so amazing that they kind of got carried away with the idea of the bad guy being immune to rules somehow,” Kilmer continued. “In the original film the Joker gets the hell kicked out of him and thrown off the bell tower. He suffers, and that sort of went away. Things became cute. It’s entertaining, but I think what they’re doing with the Batman films now is more in the original spirit of the character.”
The current Batman films are partly inspired by Michael Mann’s epic Los Angeles crime film Heat, which Kilmer co-starred in with Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro. When a fan told Kilmer that it was one of his favorite films, the actor thanked him and then revealed that his agent told him not to do it.
“I said, ‘Why not?’ And he said that I had just done Batman, so why play the third lead? I said, ‘You don’t think I should be in the poster in between DeNiro and Pacino?’ Kilmer joked, “My agent said, ‘No. Why?’”
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