Val Kilmer Explains How He Prepared to Play the Role of Jim Morrison

by Swapnil Dhruv Bose
Credit: Tri-Star
Credit: Tri-Star

Val Kilmer has delivered many memorable acting performances over the course of his long and storied career. Ranging from Top Gun to his portrayal of Bruce Wayne in Batman Forever, Kilmer has a diverse filmography and the latest addition to his oeuvre was a very well-received 2021 documentary titled Val which featured unseen footage recorded by the actor himself.

However, one of Kilmer’s most popular yet divisive performances came in the 1991 biopic The Doors, a time in which he stepped up to play the role of lead singer Jim Morrison. While other directors like Quentin Tarantino had been floating the idea of making a film on the Doors for years, it was Oliver Stone who finally went ahead with the project.

Kilmer’s rendition of Morrison was dismissed as one-dimensional and was criticised by keyboardist Ray Manzarek (portrayed by Kyle MacLachlan) who thought that the film’s focus on Morrison’s life was the wrong approach. The Doors presented a vision which was riddled with historical inaccuracies and many felt that Stone’s depiction of Morrison as a bonafide sociopath was uninteresting and flawed.


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