Val Kilmer Is Unrecognizable as Mark Twain in 'Citizen Twain'

Wow, Val Kilmer. You're looking a little... Mark Twain-ish there.

Val Kilmer Is Unrecognizable as Mark Twain in ‘Citizen Twain’

Wow, Val Kilmer. You’re looking a little… Mark Twain-ish there.

-Lucia Peters

Val Kilmer

See that picture above? That’s Val Kilmer. We all know what he looks like, right? Good.

See this picture below? This is also Val Kilmer. I don’t know about you, Bettys, but my brain just went “WUT”:

Val Kilmer Mark Twain

To be fair, over the years, Val Kilmer has also looked like this:

Val Kilmer Tombstone

Read First Look: Hugh Jackman’s Drastic Makeunder for ‘Les Miserables’

And this:

Val Kilmer Willow

And this:

Val Kilmer Batman

This most recent one, however, is quite possible the most impressive transformation the actor has ever made, probably due to the fact that when most people think “Mark Twain,” they probably don’t think “Val Kilmer.” However, this picture alone proves that it’s not only possible, but moreover, that it’s actually being done: This week, Val’s pet project, a one-man play called Citizen Twain, went into production for a limited run at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Val revealed his connection to Twain:

“I’ve always loved his humor and genius. He angled himself as incidental to social relevance, but really it’s at the core of his brilliance, of being able to humorously approach subjects that are either taboo, like writing humorously about religion or some of the glaring social injustices. Like when he was a kid in San Francisco, writing about the Chinese immigrant community and what was happening there, it got him fired. He kind of perfected his style with Huckleberry Finn in being able to present the glaring racial injustices in his own backyard to the whole country in such a way that the regular reader had to shift and grow out of outmoded ways of thinking.”

Iiiiiinteresting. Val has also been working for some time on a film about his hero Twain; and before you ask, no, the film didn’t morph into this play. He’s planning on writing, directing, and starring in the film as well, but he realized as he started to prep for fundraising and such that he hadn’t spent enough time with the reality of the character yet. That’s how the play came about: It’s sort of a “warm-up” for the eventually movie:

“I wouldn’t have time for normal breaks as an actor, and for a role and character as complicated as Twain and how I’m depicting him in the movie, I had to take time off to own it. And also I kind of got into the idea that it’s not that creative, or unusual to fundraise now personally and for a small, hard-to-make movie because it’s period, God’s in it, God’s a player – well not really Morgan Freeman wasn’t available.”

Touché, Val Kilmer. Touché.

Want to see Val in Citizen Twain? You’ll have to move fast; it’s only playing for eight performances starting this Friday, March 30. Head on over to for more info. And do be sure to read the whole interview with the Hollywood Reporter; it’s worth a moment of your time.

In closing, I will leave you all with my favorite Mark Twain quote of all time:

“Three orders of men, by right, speak of themselves as ‘we.’ These are editors, royal personages, and people with tapeworms.”

Sounds about right.

Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.

Photos 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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