The new “Willow” series on Disney+ has more than a dash of the original film’s weird humor. In fact, Jonathan Kasdan’s sequel series carries some of the wackiness of the 1988 Ron Howard film in nearly every scene, balancing out true fantasy adventures with goofy anachronisms and hilarious moments that humble the show’s cast of would-be heroes. In the original film, a good dose of that goofiness came from Val Kilmer, whose roguish character Madmartigan was framed as a guy who thinks he’s hot stuff — and is! — but still manages to stumble into embarrassing scenarios and misadventures nonetheless.

Kilmer wasn’t able to be on set for the new iteration of “Willow,” at least not its first season, due to health concerns. But several characters throughout the season take up the himbo mantle of Madmartigan, embodying his playfulness and scalawag tendencies. Among them? Christian Slater’s Allagash, a friend of Madmartigan’s who used his name when captured by trolls in the mines of Skellin. /Film’s Lyvie Scott interviewed Slater about the role, and the actor spoke candidly about the way Kilmer’s presence was felt on set even if he didn’t make it there in person.

Slater slipped and fell just like Kilmer

Slater says his time on set was all love, highlighting the fight sequences he calls “so fun” and his time spent working with Ruby Cruz and Warwick Davis. But when asked about improvised moments, he came back to one in particular that was entirely accidental — and more than a little Kilmer-esque. “It always felt like Val’s spirit was involved in some way,” Slater told /Film. 

He continued:

“There’s that great moment in the movie when he flips his sword and then falls on his ass, that great shot. And there’s a moment in the episode I did, where I go skipping down the hall, singing about how free I am — and I think Val must have sent out some kind of serendipitous spiritual arrow, because I too fell on my ass at that particular moment.”

‘I just feel like Val had something to do with that’

The actor says that his slip and fall felt like “another nice homage,” adding, “I just feel like Val had something to do with that.” Personally, I love the idea of Kilmer at home willing Slater to fall on his rear half a world away just for the sake of good comedy. Plus, if any actor were to be in tune with that, it might be Slater, who says his role as a friend of Madmartigan “makes sense” given the actors’ history. The pair have co-starred in no fewer than four films together over the decades, starting with the 1993 classic “True Romance.” They also both appeared in “Mindhunters,” “Hard Cash,” and “Masked and Anonymous.”

“Val and I have always crossed paths in the past, and we’ve worked together several times and I’m just such a huge fan of his,” Slater shared. He says the pair have “had several adventures together in our lives,” so the Madmartigan and Allagash plot rings true to him. Somewhere out there, I hope Madmartigan watched Allagash totally eat it and had a good laugh about it.

“Willow” season 1 is now streaming on Disney+.

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