Francesca McCaffery sat down with the legendary actor Val Kilmer to talk about his new project premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival this year.
The Fourth Dimension is a triptych of short films, and is the brainchild of VICE and Groslch Film Works, as well as VICE’s Renaissance Madman Eddy Moretti, who gave the directors a creative “brief,” the first tenant being the film must focus upon the concept of, you guessed it,the “Fourth Dimension.”
Cinematic wunderkind Harmony Korine directed the first short of the three segments, “The Lotus Community Workshop,” which he wrote expressly for Val Kilmer, and it is features agenuine, hilarious and endearing performance by Kilmer.Here, Kilmer talks about his love for working with Harmony and his excitingnew one-man theatrical show about Mark Twain.
Vimooz: Was it your idea to use your own name as the character in The Fourth Dimension?
Val Kilmer: No, it was very much Harmony’s idea. It was his insistent idea- “Oh, if it doesn’t work, we’ll change it!” The few times we say my name, we say “Hector,” as well. By the time we got to the night of the first day, and Rachel (Rachel Korine, Harmony’s wife, performing in the film, sporting adorable corn rows) kept saying, “Aw, that’s so great, Val!” I kind of got the idea that they were gonna go with my name.
Vimooz: Did Harmony write the script with you in mind? Did he write it for you?
Val Kilmer: I think so. And I don’t know if that’s a compliment or not! I think he was thinking about me- what are the building blocks that incorporate this kind of terrain, what the ideas are, the challenge of it being a short. Although, I happen to know the rules of an Academy Award consideration- and a short may go up to 48 minutes! I think we could get in there!It’s a fun little world, the short film world.
Vimooz: Was the film really shot in just two days? How was that?
Val Kilmer: It was very intense! We shot way into the night.
Vimooz: How was it working with Harmony Korine? I heard you rarely felt so much love on a set before.
Val Kilmer: I really love him. And I don’t want to insult Francis Coppola- there’s alotta love there, too! But, you know, he’s just impish. I think it kinda surprises some people, because you kind of find out he’s just…a comedian! Because the darker part of his movies sort of stand out, I guess? But, he is so playful…He is just looking to smile, he is looking to be alive about what comedy is- it’s some recognition of reality. Not the normal reality, but, something so extreme, even violent. I mean, why do we think it’s funny when someone falls on their face? See. We’re all smiling now! It’s weird. And I’m proud, too, because, a s far as I know of his movies, and I think I’ve seen everything he’s done- it’s the first really sort ofstraight comedy he’s ever done.
Vimooz: What’s next for you, Val?
Well, me and Eddy, and Harmony, we’ve got big ideas. We want to take this self-help program on the road! I just finished on putting on my one-man show about Mark Twain in Hollywood. I really want to get at-risk kids and vets coming back from Afghanistan to come and see. Theatre can be pretty snobby- but there needs to be outreach- it needs to be for everyone. and I’m going to St. Louis, Missourri next week to receive my honorary doctorate from William Woods University. And I am going to do the Twain play there. I’m actually pretty nervous about it.The last artist they had there was Wayne Newton pre-Las Vegas! So they’re pretty excited,but I’m actually pretty nervous. Because I have this theory that Twain made up his dialect, so I don’t really do a Missourri dialect (in the piece.) I hope they don’t mind. That’s a tough community there!
Vimooz: Thank you so much, Val. It was such a real pleasure.