Three many years in the past, Christian Slater met Val Kilmer on the set of True Romance, the Quentin Tarantino-penned, Tony Scott-directed crime thriller. Slater performed Clarence Worley, an Elvis Presley fanatic, whereas Kilmer portrayed the Mentor, an Elvis-like figment of Clarence’s creativeness. Slater and Kilmer, who first made their names within the Eighties, would go on to work collectively one other thrice within the early 2000s, making their newest connection on Jonathan Kasdan’s Willow (2022) sequel sequence all of the extra becoming.
With COVID-19 restrictions stopping Kilmer from reprising his beloved rogue swordsman, Madmartigan, from Ron Howard’s 1988 movie, Kasdan knew he wanted one other wildcard-type character that might carry the same power. So he created Allagash, a former knight and working mate of Madmartigan, and the primary individual he considered for the function was Slater.
Slater, having beloved the unique movie, instantly understood that he’d be filling the void of Madmartigan as finest he may, so he made some extent to achieve out to Kilmer and let him know that he’d be paying tribute to him.
“[Val is] clearly in a really tough scenario, however I simply expressed my love. And I actually let him know that the spirit of Madmartigan was going to be working right through these eight episodes,” Slater tells The Hollywood Reporter of Kilmer, who has been open about his well being struggles. “So he was such part of this, although he wasn’t bodily in a position to be there.”
Slater’s profession was revitalized when he was solid because the eponymous character on Sam Esmail’s psychological thriller sequence, Mr. Robotic, co-starring Rami Malek. Much like Kilmer’s function in True Romance, Slater performed a figment of Malek’s character’s creativeness, incomes himself a Golden Globe in 2016 (and a handshake of respect from Leonardo DiCaprio en path to the stage).
Whereas Slater is grateful for the advanced roles he’s gained since Mr. Robotic, he’s most appreciative of the friendships that stay.
“It was a really particular time, and it was a really particular present. What’s good is that we’re all nonetheless pals. Rami, Sam, Carly [Chaikin] and I nonetheless get collectively and hang around,” Slater says. “We’ll spend New Yr’s collectively and do issues like that. So, some good friendships and bonds occurred because of that present.”
In a current dialog with THR, Slater additionally discusses how his Willow character reminded him of one other notable function of his in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He then appears forward to his components in Unfrosted and Pussy Island, the characteristic directorial debuts of Jerry Seinfeld and Zoe Kravitz, respectively.
Effectively, Christian, I hope you catch this reference, however hey, pal.
(Laughs.) In fact! We are able to say “goodbye, pal” on the finish, too.
I’m beginning with Mr. Robotic as a result of I feel it’s partially why we’re speaking at the moment. To me, that function reminded everybody of how dynamic you might be as a performer. Do you’re feeling such as you’ve been driving a second wave ever since?
Mr. Robotic has helped terribly in getting additional alternatives to play some characters I can sink my enamel into. Mr. Robotic was an awfully particular expertise that I cherish. I beloved that character, and I like Sam [Esmail] and Rami [Malek]. It’s nice to work with people who find themselves so inventive and good. So to be part of that was a whole lot of enjoyable. Nevertheless it was such a severe present, so it was good to do one thing like Willow with a distinct power.
Sure, you had been tasked with bringing a few of that Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) power to the Willow sequence, and Allagash actually does that. He’s even launched in a cage like Madmartigan was.
Yeah, I assumed that was a pleasant homage.
Total, was Willow a straightforward promote?
To a sure diploma. I used to be an enormous fan of the film. I fell in love with Val Kilmer and his power and what he delivered to the film was simply implausible. Warwick [Davis] and I are additionally pals. We’ve crossed paths rather a lot in our historical past. We did a manufacturing of Spamalot on the Hollywood Bowl about 5 years in the past and we had a complete blast collectively. So after I heard a few Willow sequence, I assumed, “Oh, that is attention-grabbing. That is surprising. What a enjoyable factor to replace and reintroduce.” And when Jon [Kasdan] began to speak to me in regards to the character and what he needed to do, it simply felt like a pleasant match.
He was additionally so open to concepts. There was a whole lot of freedom, and that’s what the film felt like, too. It felt like issues had been made up on the spot. All people gave the impression to be having a very good time whereas being inventive. In order that was the type of power that Jon needed to carry to the sequence, which is uncommon with so many individuals making selections. So I used to be given some leeway with the character of Allagash.
Allagash additional proves that you just play dodgy, slippery and deceitful so nicely. Do you could have any theories as to why you’re so adept at duplicitous characters?
(Laughs.) It’s laborious to place into phrases why that’s the case. Possibly it’s the eyebrows. Possibly it’s the way in which that I talk. I’ve additionally been surrounded by sly and duplicitous human beings my complete life, so I’ve picked up power from that. There’s all the time simply been a component of unpredictability. You by no means know what I’m going to do subsequent, which is a enjoyable strategy to undergo life. It’s unpredictable. So that you’re not fairly positive in the event you can really feel utterly trusting of this man or what his actual agenda is.
Did you attain out to Val Kilmer about your Willow function?
I did, yeah. He’s clearly in a really tough scenario, however I simply expressed my love. And I actually let him know that the spirit of Madmartigan was going to be working right through these eight episodes. It was simply superb to be on set and get the vibe and the sense of how appreciated and beloved he’s as an actor. So he was such part of this, although he wasn’t bodily in a position to be there.
Was the True Romance lavatory set the place the 2 of you met for the primary time?
I feel it was, yeah. That was most likely the primary time we’d met. He was superb. He was an important Elvis and only a very attention-grabbing man. We’ve gotten to work collectively just a few different occasions since, and he all the time brings a really attention-grabbing, quirky and unpredictable power to what he does. So Allagash could be the type of man that Madmartigan would have frolicked with. These two guys would’ve been going at one another and competing for quite a few issues all through their friendship and loyalty.
Because you each turned stars at completely different factors within the ‘80s, was there ever a contest between the 2 of you?
Not likely. He’s just a little older than I’m, so I don’t suppose we had been ever actually in the identical class. I by no means felt like there was a substantial amount of competitors.
Did Allagash provide you with any flashbacks to Will Scarlet in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves?
No doubt. From what I recall, Will Scarlet made up a tune as Robin Hood [Kevin Costner] was crossing the little river there, and Allagash additionally likes to make up songs on the spot. So after I received there, I used to be stunned to be taught that Allagash was a songwriter, however we had been in a position to incorporate that into the story, which was enjoyable for me. They didn’t count on it at occasions, however generally, I might simply ship the strains that had been written, as a tune. (Laughs.) In order that stunned them, and I’m glad they stored a whole lot of that stuff.
In case it wasn’t apparent up high, I desperately miss Mr. Robotic, a lot in order that I routinely take heed to bootlegged rating from the ultimate few episodes. They by no means launched the rating from the second half of the ultimate season [Volume 8].
Actually?! That’s attention-grabbing. I’m wondering why.
I assume the composer, Mac Quayle, simply hasn’t been in a position to get to it but. He spins a whole lot of plates from what I can inform.
He was so superb.
Do you miss the sequence as nicely?
To a sure diploma, I do. I actually really feel prefer it had a starting, a center and an finish. It was a really particular time, and it was a really particular present. I beloved that complete expertise, and I look again on it very fondly. What’s good is that we’re all nonetheless pals. Rami, Sam, Carly [Chaikin] and I nonetheless get collectively and hang around. We’ll spend New Yr’s collectively and do issues like that. So, some good friendships and bonds occurred because of that present.
Yeah, I used to be going to ask if Carly’s wedding was the final time you noticed everyone, in order that’s good to listen to.
That wedding ceremony was a blast! We had a actually good time there. (Laughs.)
You guys block shot seasons two via 4 in an effort to accommodate Sam Esmail directing each episode. So what was the final scene you and Rami filmed collectively?
Gosh, that’s a very good query. It may very nicely have been all of these scenes with Krista (Gloria Reuben) in her workplace at residence. It may’ve been that from what I recall. I don’t precisely keep in mind what scene it was, but it surely was in that normal neighborhood.
You’ve received some attention-grabbing stuff arising together with Jerry Seinfeld and Zoe Kravitz’s characteristic directorial debuts.
Yeah, [Seinfeld’s] Pop-Tart film, Unfrosted, is probably hilarious. Once we had been doing the read-through of the script, we had been all on a Zoom chat, and it was simply unbelievable to see these hilarious comedians popping up on the little squares of Zoom. So it has an excellent solid, and it’s undoubtedly a enjoyable romp. Seinfeld is simply nice. This was his first characteristic directorial gig, and he did an incredible, superb job. I’m part of the Milkman Mafia; that was my function. So that you gotta be looking out for milkmen; they’re as much as no good.
Once more, duplicitous! (Laughs.) One other duplicitous character. I’m getting pigeonholed, it appears. And Pussy Island, Zoe Kravitz’s film, I don’t know if that would be the ultimate title. I hope it’s, as a result of why not? That was additionally only a nice expertise. We had been within the Yucatán for seven weeks, and all of us stayed on the identical resort, Hacienda Temozón. It’s this rustic 200-year-old resort that was some type of mine. I don’t know what it was precisely, but it surely was an important expertise. Channing [Tatum] was nice, and it’s a loopy, loopy story. The entire characters are nuts, so we had a blast on that one.
Effectively, Christian Slater, as you urged, goodbye, pal.
(Laughs.) Goodbye, pal!
Willow is now accessible on Disney+. This interview was edited for size and readability.