Picks and Pans Review: Sounds Off

updated 11/14/2005 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/14/2005 01:00AM

Val Kilmer

He's played everyone from Batman to Jim Morrison—and gotten a rep as one of Hollywood's most volatile leading men. While visiting his alma mater Juilliard, a mellower Kilmer, 45, chatted about playing a gay private eye in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.

ON WHETHER HE'S SICK OF TALKING ABOUT HIS KISS KISS WITH ROBERT DOWNEY JR. No, because he's a good kisser! If it wasn't so sweet and tender, and if the light hadn't hit him in just that way and the wind was blowing, then maybe.

ON HIS REP AS "DIFFICULT" I've always been challenging. [But] I got lumped in with criminals, pedophiles, genuinely sick people. I have children [Mercedes, 14, and Jack, 10]; I go to church on Sunday; I work real hard at my job, and it hurts. There's nothing that can be said about me, because I'm a responsible actor.

ON MAKING PEACE WITH THE PRESS It's easier now. But it's tough. [Alexander costar] Angelina Jolie is a good friend of mine. The last time I saw her [in England], she said, "Come by the house," because I hadn't seen her home. But we got followed. I ended up pulling off and waiting at a pub while she went ahead and made sure no one was there. We ran out of time. Just to have a cup of coffee.

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