Val Kilmer built up a collection of comedy films on the set of gruelling new movie SPARTAN to help him cope with its dark themes.

In the film, Kilmer plays a covert agent going against his superiors and trying to free the President's daughter from a white slave ring - and he admits filming was particularly tough.

He says, "I did watch a lot of comedies at night while making this film because it's such a dark, intense role. He's a very serious guy.

"There's a woman who my character has to interrogate and she's a friend of mine and I have to kill her if she doesn't tell me what I want to know. It's just a weird thing, acting.

"We never acted together before and it was so weird to go strangle my friend all night long. I kept asking her if she was OK. It's a strange thing."

16/03/2004 17:26