Wielding a prop chainsaw to destroy a guitar amplifier and then using a bowie knife to cut off clumps of his own hair, actor Val Kilmer made a Hollywood spectacle out of an already chaotic set by Atlanta garage rockers Black Lips on Friday at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin. Film crews caught every moment of Kilmer’s destruction during the concert that served as a backdrop for director Terrence Malick’s untitled new film, which also stars Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchet and Rooney Mara, who was also filmed playing guitar with Black Lips members during the shoot.
“Did they tell you we’re making a movie? We’re not. We’re practicing making a movie,” Kilmer informed the crowd while playing the part of an overblown, has-been rocker named Dwayne. While Black Lips performed wildly, Kilmer was filmed repeatedly yelling at the band members to stop playing, telling them “We’re gonna play my song tonight!”
Malick and his film crews have become regulars at concerts in the live music capital since causing a stir at last year’s Austin City Limits Festival when film crews were first seen trailing Bale to capture footage for the film that’s reported to center around a love triangle within the city’s music scene. Since then, Gosling has been spotted with film crews all over the city, including a gig with Mara at last month’s ACL Fest during another Black Lips performance.
Chanting lyrics such as “Autograph the epitaph!” and “Rock and roll is dead! Long live rock and roll!” Kilmer’s role is a clear callback to his portrayal of Doors singer Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s 1991 biopic. Kilmer played to that fact, trying to incite the crowd that eagerly pelted the stage with drinks and other debris.
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“Do you wanna hear some Doors songs? Well, you’re 20 years too late. No Doors here. We have some windows . . . got some garage. But we’ve got no Doors.”