Downey, Kilmer ‘kiss’ and tell about new movie

Tiffany Strong

Where’s that pesky rabbit? Wait – wrong movie. Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer star in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Credit: Ben Breier


Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen

Directed by Shane Black

Released by Warner Bros. Pictures

In a recent phone interview, the producer and actors of the upcoming movie, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, smooched and told about the on and off screen chemistry they had while filming the movie.

Screenwriter and producer Shane Black, of legendary movies such as the Lethal Weapon series and The Predator, picked a comedic cast when developing the screenplay.

“I realized after all these years, I have been giving away my scripts, my hard work,” Black said of his directorial premiere. “I was just eating the Brussels sprouts instead of getting the reward.”

The movie starts off in a New York City toy store, where thief Harry Lockhart, played by Robert Downey Jr., is giving himself a five-finger discount on some toys for Christmas.

After the alarm sounds, Lockhart is forced to run from cops, and he stumbles into an audition for a Hollywood detective movie, where he is asked to participate in a Los Angeles screen test.

After being paired up with tough-guy private eye Gay Perry, played by Val Kilmer, he runs into Harmony Faith Lane, played by Michelle Monaghan.

The odd combination of thief-turned-actor, gay detective and aspiring actress runs into all sorts of trouble when the mysterious suicide of Lane’s sister sets the scene for the real-life murder mystery they must try to solve.

The actors not only had fun on-screen, but also appeared to have a lot of fun off-screen. During this recent interview with Black, Monaghan, Downey and Kilmer, the laughs were non-stop.

From the constant random banter between co-stars Downey and Kilmer, to the cynical Black, the crew was more than interesting.

For Downey, the part of Harry Lockhart was a cinch.

The universally-acclaimed actor is best known for his bad boy persona given to him by the media, which fit exactly what Black was looking for when casting a bad guy with good intentions.

“I have been preparing for Harry Lockhart my whole life. He’s a thief from New York, and coincidentally, I’m from New York, and I stole stuff,” said Downey.

On the other hand, Kilmer got a taste of a completely different role when playing gay detective Perry Van Shrike, a.k.a. Gay Perry. The character is tough as nails, like most detectives, but still contains some comic relief for the role.

Kilmer was up for the challenge.

“I loved playing the part. I ran right out and bought a Liza Minnelli record and played it until I started dancing,” Kilmer said of preparing for his role.

This was the first movie Kilmer and Downey had the chance to act in together, but tension was never an issue for them. The duo decided from the beginning that the movie was going to be fun at all times, and they would continue to be friends.

For newcomer Monaghan, acting with the veterans was nerve-racking at first, but ended with her begging for a sequel.

“It was literally Acting 101 for me. They are bold and always doing something different and having a good time,” Monaghan said.

With detective films on the down and out, Black had to find something to draw his audience in. On a small budget and 37-day shoot, Black incorporated the noir film philosophy of the character-driven movie where each character contains a secret while keeping the story real.

Contact ALL correspondent Tiffany Strong at [email protected].