Justin Bruening has been talking to SciFiWire about new K.I.T.T. voice Val Kilmer, and likens the actor’s version of the AI to the role that Kilmer created in 1984’s Real Genius.
“The first movie I thought of that I thought made him perfect for the role was Real Genius,” Bruening said. “I thought if he played the voice that way like he did in that movie, it would be frigging brilliant. It probably is not a movie he would pick, and he was a lot younger then, but that character was highly intelligent, quick-witted and [has] a lot of the characteristics that K.I.T.T. sort of has, without the logic. He comes back with the robotic quick wit and has his own kind of banter.”
Kilmer, of course, is not on the set to feed Justin and the other actors with his lines; in fact, Wire reveals that Kilmer was actually out of the country during the filming of Knight Rider‘s first five episodes. On set, Bruening works with a “voice double”, John Burdell, who “captures the cadence and rhythm of Val’s style and plays off us well,” Bruening says. “He says things in ways that he would imagine how [Kilmer] would answer. We knew we needed an actor who brings something to the role. The emotion is huge.”
Justin and the rest of the cast have yet to meet Val. Bruening jokes, “Maybe he will show up at the season-five Christmas party.” If he did, it would be a case of deja vu… David Hasselhoff didn’t meet original K.I.T.T. voice William Daniels until their Christmas party!