Val Kilmer: Iceman, Batman, Wildlife Lover, Governor of New Mexico?

  • Published on September 17th, 2008

Val Kilmer Might Run to be Governor of New MexicoThe latest political celebrity scuttlebutt is that famous American actor Val Kilmer might be considering a run for Governor of New Mexico in 2010. Kilmer has lived part-time in New Mexico for over 20 years, but reportedly hasn’t ever voted since registering in 1992. While we don’t know if Kilmer will run, the good news is that if he does, then we have reason to believe he cares about environmental issues. [social_buttons]

The rumor mill for Kilmer’s candidacy got crankin’ when current New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson made these remarks: “I like the idea. Val Kilmer is a first rate New Mexican. He was Batman. You know there have been successful actors going into politics. I haven’t talked to him about it, I don’t know how serious he is, but you know if he jumps in a race he’s got name ID, so it can’t be discounted.” Richardson apparently is friends on some level with Kilmer.

Kilmer himself also made some intriguing comments in January during a public appearance: “”I did get some lobbyists once saying that I’d make a good governor. Reagan wasn’t much of an actor and look how that worked out for him. And then there’s Arnold… I think you should be able to pronounce the name of the state.”

Sounds like we might have a good rivalry on our hands if Kilmer’s candidacy comes to pass. It seems that Kilmer would also be a candidate who actively supports initiatives to care for the environment. Here’s a quick list of interesting tidbits about Mr. Kilmer:

  • Kilmer owns a 6,000 acre ranch near Sante Fe and raises the more environmentally friendly type of animal: bison. According to an old article in Esquire, Val is quoted as saying:

I just like looking at them. I liked looking at them when I was a kid, and I like looking at them now. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m part Cherokee. There was such a relationship between the buffalo and the American Indian–the Indians would eat them, live inside their pelts, use every part of the body. There was almost no separation between the people and the animals.

  • Later in the same interview Kilmer says the following: “I’ve never been that comfortable talking about myself, or about acting.” Just my hunch, but this doesn’t bode well for a political career.
  • Kilmer says on his website that “the Wildlife Center is a charity that I have donated to for over ten years. We have released over one hundred wild animals on our wilderness retreat that Dr. Ramsey has PERSONALLY treated. Please check it out.” I have, and you can too by clicking here.
  • He is a Christian Scientist. Is this an advantage or a liability? My guess is that it is a liability, particularly in regard to the U.S.’s struggling health care system.
  • The word buzzing on the internet is that Kilmer is set to star in two movies with global warming tie-ins– and both sound great on paper! In The Thaw, student scientists come upon a wooly mammoth that appears inside a melting icecap. It contains a parasite that begins to reak havoc. Personally speaking, The Steam House sounds even better. In this flic, Kilmer plays a professor who takes six people hostage in a bathhouse to prove that global warming (extremely high temperatures) will make people go crazy in the chaos. Both movies are scheduled to come out next year.

If Kilmer does run for Governor of New Mexico, then it might be the most interesting celebrity candidacy to come along since the current one of comedian Al Franken.

Read More About Celebrities and the Environment on the Green Options Network:

Photo Credit: Original unmodified image from shiherlis on Flickr under a Creative Commons license [social_buttons]

About the Author

Levi Novey is a conservation professional who has received a bachelor's degree in History from Tufts University and a master's degree in Conservation Social Sciences from the University of Idaho. He worked for the U.S. National Park Service for 10 years, as a park ranger in 6 national parks, as a social science researcher in 5 parks, and as the science communicator for a Natural Resource Inventory and Monitoring Network that serves 9 parks. He has authored several scholarly papers as well as several guidebooks to U.S. national parks. Levi also has taught an undergraduate Environmental Communication Skills course at the University of Idaho, won several photography contests, and regularly enjoys visits to parks, protected areas, historical sites, museums-- and just about anywhere where he can learn something new about the world. He currently lives in Peru, with his wife Alicia, and their daughter Coral.
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  • Val Kilmers career has sadly been in freefall since his Batman movie. Pity as he used to be quite a powerhouse actor.

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  • Unfortunately, the people holding public office are not who virtually anyone would want holding public office in our Two-Party Disfunctional Democracy so Kilmer's more independent voice could only be an improvement.

    On the other hand, the last TWO movies of his I watched, which both featured him as a star, were disappointing as he was barely in either film: in one, I think it was "Played (2006)," he drove a car for a couple minutes then stopped to make a brief phone call; in the other, "Dead Man's Bounty" of the same year, while he was in it for quite a while, I think he was deceased the entire time. While this is a somewhat amusing combo in retrospect, at the time I was thinking more along the lines of "I want my money back!" Hopefully, if he does go into politics, he'll at least try not to be perceived as betraying his supporters. Otherwise, hell blend right in!

  • KBO

    ROFL. Seriously. Read Chuck Klosterman's bizarre interview with him and you'll realize this is not someone you want holding public office.