Search icon


19th Sep 2023

Val Kilmer was paid at least $2k per second for his scene in Top Gun: Maverick

Steve Hopkins

His cameo really paid off

Val Kilmer’s appearance in Top Gun: Maverick may have been equivalent to a flyby, but the A-lister was handsomely rewarded for his his cameo appearance.

The 63-year-old stared in the original in 1986, when he was a fresh-faced 26-year-old, and has been cashing in on the success of the cult franchise ever since. The original made $391m profit, and Top Gun: Maverick made $1.5b at the box office and was the top-grossing film of 2022.

Kilmer, who was the rival to Tom Cruise’s Maverick, as Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky, took a back-seat from actin gin 2015 after being diagnosed with throat cancer. The star of Heat and The Saint later underwent two tracheostomies, which affected his vocal chords and his ability to speak.

Top Gun fans, and Cruise, were both delighted when Kilmer returned for the highly anticipated sequel, which came 36 years after the original.

Cruise even later revealed the reunion with Kilmer left him in tears on set.

In 2022’s movie, Iceman reunites with Maverick after rising up through the ranks and becoming a four-star admiral. With the help of AI, Kilmer speaks in the movie, which left him emotional.

But the emotional moment was also a well paying one.

While unclear exactly how much Kilmer pocketed, ScreenRant suggested it was between $400,000 and $2m.

If it was at the very bottom end, Kilmer would have earned $2,222 per second during his 3-minute-long scene.

If he was paid up to $2 million, that could be a staggering $11,111 per second.

In February, Cruise how emotional his reunion with Kilmer was on the set.

“I just want to say that was pretty emotional. I’ve known Val for decades,” Cruise said during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.

“For him to come back and play that character… he’s such a powerful actor that he instantly became that character again. You’re looking at Iceman.”

Cruise continued: “I was crying. I got emotional. He’s such a brilliant actor, and I love his work.”

Before the movie came out, Kilmer shared a still from the movie on Instagram and wrote: “36 years later… I’m still your wingman.”

Speaking previously about his cancer diagnosis and the strain it places on him, the Batman Forever star recalled waking up “vomiting blood” and calling 911.

“The cancer miraculously healed much faster than any of the doctors predicted,” he said, adding: “It has taken time, and taken a toll… Speaking, once my joy and lifeblood, has become an hourly struggle.”

Kilmer said that his new voice resembles “Marlon Brando after a couple of bottles of tequila.”

“It isn’t a frog in my throat. More like a buffalo,” he added.

Related links:

Lewis Hamilton reveals blockbuster movie he was almost in – and he would have been perfect for it

Just like in 1986, sales of aviator sunglasses are up because of Top Gun

Mickey Rourke says exactly what we’ve all been thinking about Tom Cruise’s entire career