Val Kilmer was stunned to discover the real-life pilots he partied with on the Top Gun set were among the team which secretly bombed Libya.
The Doors star, who played ace pilot Iceman in the 1986 movie, awoke in a haze after one bender between work days on the film with vague recollections of the party the night before – and realized he had been hanging out with members of a crack flying team.
“They left the next morning to fly air cover when we secretly bombed Libya,” Val tells Deadline. “They hinted at a secret mission several times but no one told us all of it. We had to read it in the papers. Our plot line was suddenly not so silly.”
The intense fighter pilots left a lasting impression on the actor, both physically and mentally.
“I had a perfectly round bruise on my chest over my heart in the morning I had absolutely no memory of,” he adds. “After half a day of complete dead ends investigating this round mystery, I accidentally poked it – and all in a flash it came to me. This is a true story. A bruise had formed where the fighter pilots had poked me in the chest all night with their Superman fingers saying things like, ‘You are doing it right. We’ve read the script and this Iceman character is correct’.”
But they weren’t so fond of Tom Cruise’s cocky character, Maverick.
“(They said), ‘This hot shot? He wouldn’t last. We’d make sure of that’. They were very serious. Teamwork is life and death. They didn’t get that it was a drama meant to reveal that point.”
Cruise is now planning a long-awaited sequel and Kilmer would love to return as Iceman, but whether or not he’s called back he can’t wait to see Top Gun 2.
“Top Gun, Maverick is, I believe, the title of the sequel,” he tells the outlet. “Well, Jerry Bruckheimer has been more successful than any top five producers combined, so I kinda think he will figure out the correct point of view for these times, and Tom Cruise seems to have a knack for what audiences enjoy.”