Inside Val Kilmer's Life Now — and Health Mystery — Amid Cate Blanchett Twitter Controversy
Val Kilmer is back in the spotlight again after going on a bizarre Twitter spree praising onetime costar Cate Blanchett
The Top Gun and Batman Foreverstar spent the weekend flooding his Twitter account with effusive posts lauding Blanchett, with whom he appeared in the 2003 Western The Missing and whom he again costars with in the new film Song to Song.
His posts included an admission that he once flew to Australia “just to talk” to the actress, only to be supposedly met at the airport by her husband, Australian playwright Andrew Upton. He followed up a few minutes later, adding, “And recently I’ve had 2 dreams with #CateBlanchett in them. Her husband wasn’t in either of them.”
Several days later the actor joked about his online rant while introducing a special film screening of his one-man play, Citizen Twain, in Irvine, California, Wednesday night.
During a Q&A, an audience member asked Kilmer to name his favorite costar. “I can’t say Cate Blanchett,” he replied. “I wrote nice things about Cate Blanchett on Twitter and now I’m a pervert.”
He added, “I don’t know why loving an actor that’s so talented is creepy, but I guess I’m creepy.”
The Twitter spree and subsequent comments come in the wake of ongoing concern surrounding the actor’s health. Over the past two years, the actor has been dealing with a medical issue involving his throat and has denied several times that he has cancer.
In January 2015, a spokesperson for Kilmer told PEOPLE that he was rushed to the hospital “for a possible tumor.” Soon after, he took to Facebook to deny having a tumor, saying only that he “had a complication.”
Reports surfaced again in October 2015 that Kilmer had been rushed to the hospital, and once more he took to social media to dispute the rumors. “There’s a rumor I’m unwell again and in hospital which is totally untrue. I was in to verify I have no tumor or infection of any kind which was verified by the very caring experts at UCLA,” he wrote on his Facebook page at the time.
Less than two months later, Kilmer, 57, was spotted out with what appeared to be a tracheostomy tube, which sparked new concerns over his health. In the months since he had been taken to the hospital, the selfie-happy actor was photographed wearing scarves and shirts buttoned up tightly around his neck.
But in February 2016, Kilmer was spotted running errands in London without the tracheostomy tube. He also appeared to be more active in the months leading up to the sighting, often posting pictures of himself in Miami and London to his Facebook.
Douglas, who beat stage 4 oral cancer in 2013, said during a Q&A in London that the Batman Forever star was “dealing with exactly what I had, and things don’t look too good for him … My prayers are with him.”
Just days later, Kilmer responded to the rumors by declaring he has “no cancer whatsoever.”
In November, Kilmer announced that Douglas had apologized for making the comment. “Michael Douglas wrote me a nice note apologizing for suggesting to the press overseas I ‘wasn’t doing too well…’ and was grateful to hear I am doing well,” Kilmer, 56, wrote on Facebook. “He’s a classy guy.”
Around the same time, Kilmer attended a screening of his film Citizen Twain in Los Angeles, where he remained upbeat but appeared to be thinner and struggled with his speech, slurring his words and using a handkerchief to wipe the corners of his mouth.
Yet in February, Kilmer once again took to social media to profess his good health. “Sorry to bore you who know I’m healthy but there’s more lies again that I’m ‘ill,’ ” the actor captioned a photo on Twitter. “I mentioned the other night I was doing speech therapy!”
Kilmer has been touring behind his one-man play about Mark Twain, which he also wrote, directed and produced. On March 25, he shared a video from one of his tour dates at the SVA Theatre in New York City on Facebook. The video, filmed by Kilmer, shows a fan asking him a question during a Q&A follow-up after the screening. While the actor is not visible in the clip, his voice in the background still sounds unrecognizable.
The actor also displayed slurred speech that was sometimes difficult to understand during Wednesday’s screening in Irvine, but afterwards told PEOPLE he is “doing great” when asked about his health.
He also dismissed any controversy surrounding his comments about Blanchett: “It makes no sense. I didn’t say anything weird.”
“I write about all my friends,” Kilmer added. “There’s no story. Nothing weird.”
FROM COINAGE: The Top 5 Most Expensive Movies of All Time
In a recent interview with Vulture conducted via email, Kilmer opened up about working on the project, but did not speak about his health. “His writing is like music — so conversational and seamlessly constructed,” he told the magazine about playing Twain.
According to his website, Kilmer will continue to tour with Citizen Twain through June. He also tweeted that he’s exploring a possible art project at the World Trade Center.
He also has new films in the works, and he’s involved in the sequel to Top Gun that’s currently in development, according to his Facebook page. Most recently, he appeared for a brief part in the Rooney Mara and Ryan Gosling-led Song to Song, which also costars Blanchett, in which he played a member of the band Black Lips and chainsawed through an amp onstage.