'The Saint' is variation on old theme for Kilmer
April 7, 1997
Web posted at: 5:30 a.m. EST
From Correspondent Sherri Sylvester
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Millionaire crime-fighter sounds vaguely
familiar when it comes to Val Kilmer's list of film credits.
This time, however, Kilmer has shed his caped crusader
character to become "The Saint." And as it turns out, this
story is more like "Mission: Impossible" than "Batman
There are numerous disguises, including that of a Russian
maid and a lecherous journalist.
"The housekeeping babushka lady -- that took some courage to
leave my trailer, because I had a big raccoon on my head,"
Kilmer says it's because of all the zany characters that he
jumped at the chance to do the film.
"It was a chance to create a lot of different characters and
do things that were potentially hideously embarrassing or
just hard to do," he says.
But the actor created more than his multiple characters.
According to the film's producer, he also improvised love
scenes with co-star Elisabeth Shue.
"I owe a lot of that to Val because he is such a
perfectionist, and he really inspired me to become a
collaborator," Shue says of the steamy scenes.
While other filmmakers have tagged Kilmer difficult, his
saintly cast and crew repeatedly referred to him as a
"That's why I never believe rumors, because I think
personalities interact differently depending on what the
material is," Shue says.
In this film, Kilmer clearly values the chance to create
something new over an encore performance of the tried and
"He survives by his wits," he says of his character, Simon
Templar. "It's just stimulating to work out ideas from a
character who's smart."
Related sites: Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
- The Saint (Official movie site)
- The Saint (A WWW Reference to the Immortal Works of Leslie Charteris and his Saint Saga)
- Movieweb - The Saint
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