It has been a rumor for some time that there are celebrities walking among us in the SCA. Among the lesser known celebrities is Ilan Mitchell-Smith, who played opposite Anthony Michael Hall in "Weird Science" (and, in fact, he's squired to Sir Bronislaus!) Then there's Mark something-or-other (aka PsychoJester of the East Realm) who's getting, er, shall we say, a "hummer" in the movie "Goodfellas."
|Val Kilmer, New King of the Midrealm|
Recently, Val Kilmer won Crown Tournament up in the Middle Kingdom. Now why would a famous celebrity join the SCA? Why, when he has millions of dollars, babes following him around, and an entourage of assistants at every beck and call? Some people feel that the kingdom will suffer in the days to come, due to his busy filming schedule this summer. Others feel his presence may bring positive publicity to the group as a whole. Only time will tell.
We find him on the tournament field. Like every good fighter, Val, who goes by the name of Sir Valentine in the Society, starts his day off with a cup of mocha-latte in his pewter goblet. His suit of armor, designed by Sir Gaston of the West (who won an Oscar), is meticulously laid out under his pavilion. As he sits on his throne, custom made by Earl Benen Mactire, watching the rest of the camp awaken, we are finally able to get his opinion on the SCA. "I joined the SCA mostly because. well, this may sound weird, but I always wanted to be royalty. Sure, I have enough money to buy a title, a real one, but when can you get the chance to actually earn one by beating the crap out of your opponent? Some movie stars are into auto racing for a rush, what's so different about me being in the Society?" Val pauses a moment to catch his thoughts, then says in a quiet voice, "People adore me in Hollywood, but they don't bow down to me like they do here."
What about his living in New Mexico — and the red tape in trying to fight in the Mid Realm Crown Tourney? "It was really quite easy. A post office box is all you need to have to claim residency in any kingdom. I chose the MidRealm because it's the biggest kingdom, with the most events — and the crowns were made by Master Lothar."
Catherine de la Rose, queen of this kingdom once before, has the honor of sitting by his side as Val's queen during this upcoming reign. The usually reserved Countess is beside herself with joy. "Our eyes met from across the room, and it's been heaven since that point on. So, I'll just keep it at that." The story we hear from all other rivals for the great honor of being fought for by Val is a little bit different. "She's a great seamstress and he's just using her for free garb!" Would he deny it?
"She's a great girl, and yes, her clothes did catch my eye at first. But there is so much more to our partnership than clothing. It's a perk to get cool clothes from her, but lots of others have offered to sew for me as well." Val takes a sip of his mocha-latte, looking over the field as others start to armor up for another day of fighting before continuing. ioTruth is, she wasn't my first choice. I really wanted to fight for Julia (Roberts), but she wasn't an acceptable candidate."
|Julia Roberts: "Pretty|
Woman" no "Lady", by
In a telephone interview, I got the chance to ask Julia myself why she wasn't "an acceptable candidate". In a conversation that got a bit teary towards the end, she explained how, even though they were no longer dating, he still felt strongly enough about her for him to fight for her. "It was so very poetic and sweet. Val is just a mushy kind of guy when it comes to romance. I would have gladly taken a hiatus from my work to do this for him, but the Reigning Crown wanted me to have been a local officer and have an AOA to prove I could work with people. You know, like I don't work with people everyday of my life — would it have been so terrible to have that requirement waived for me?"
Val agrees. "I understand why there are rules. Every club needs to have rules. Julia has so much experience working with all different types of people; she would have been a great queen. C'est la vie. Still, as the next man to be King of this land, I can make my own rules. These requirements will be handled on a case-by-case basis when I sit the throne. I'll be king, and my word will be law." He smiles to himself, then stands up, beckoning over a nearby squire to help him get into his armor. "This is the best club ever!"
As Val armors up, I have just one nagging question that still needs to be asked — why isn't Val listed on the kingdom web page? "It's about not having my privacy invaded by my fans. The SCA is one thing; people respect you and your stuff. Sure, I get asked for the occasional autograph while I'm here, but as far as I'm concerned, they're asking for Sir Val's autograph, not Val Kilmer's. It's all a matter of perspective. You don't want just anyone joining up with our kingdom because I'm a big-name movie star in the mundane world. We want quality people here who care about the period. If not, we'd have a lot of blue jean, T-tunic wearing, Ren Faire geeks coming in just to get a glimpse of me. And that's not right."
With that statement, now armored up and ready to go, Val strolls onto the field, ready to meet the challengers lining up and waiting for him. There's a new trend going around the MidRealm — who gets a piece of the movie star. Although he's relatively new to this game, Val is anxious to be part of it heart and soul. He takes on the challengers on by one. How does it go? Well, he was good enough to win the 200+ man tournament that made him heir to this empire, and so it looks like a lot of fighters will be going home with more than their fair share of bruises and broken armor.