Val Kilmer says he didn’t want the Top Gun role that made him famous and was “tortured” to audition by his agent.
The 60-year-old star played Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky in the 1986 film alongside Tom Cruise.
In his memoir, I’m Your Huckleberry, Kilmer admits: “I didn’t want the part. I didn’t care about the film. The story didn’t interest me.
“My agent, who also represented Tom Cruise, basically tortured me into at least meeting Tony Scott saying he was one of the hottest directors in town.”
Kilmer says he even tried to self-sabotage the audition, by “looking like a fool or the goon”.
He says: “I read the lines indifferently and yet, amazingly, I was told I had the part. I felt more deflated than inflated.”
It was Kilmer’s third feature-length film role, following after 1984’s Top Secret! and 1985’s Real Genius.
The film went on to become a worldwide box office hit, making stars of its young cast.
However, Kilmer says the tables have completely turned all these years later, admitting he begged to be part of the reboot, Top Gun: Maverick.
Despite not being approached for the new film, he took matters into his own hands.
Kilmer says: “I’d not only contacted the producers but created heartrending scenes with Iceman.
“The producers went for it. Cruise went for it. Cruise couldn’t have been cooler.”
Top Gun: Maverick was due to be released in cinemas in June but following the coronavirus outbreak is now due to come to the screen at the end of the year.
Kilmer’s memoir also details his colourful dating past, going out with Hollywood stars including Cindy Crawford, Angelina Jolie and Carly Simon.
Kilmer, who dated Cher for a year, admits he initially didn’t want to meet her as he thought she was a “less-than-fascinating character out of the gossip rags”.
However, after getting to know the pop star, he declared her the “funniest woman I ever met”.
The pair have remained close, with Cher supporting Kilmer throughout his 2015 throat cancer diagnosis.
The actor was staying at her guesthouse when he realised he was seriously unwell and began “vomiting blood that covered the bed like a scene out of The Godfather”.
He says Cher accompanied him in the ambulance and was with him when he underwent his tracheotomy and chemotherapy sessions.
Kilmer, who described his split from actress Daryl Hannah in 2001 as the “most painful”, says he has now been single for 15 years.
Val Kilmer’s memoir I’m Your Huckleberry is out now, and Top Gun: Maverick will be released on 23 December.