Kilmer posted a lengthy essay on his website, explaining that he wanted to set the record straight about the famously tumultuous production and whether it was true Russell essentially helmed the film after George Cosmatos replaced Kevin Jarre as director.
"Kurt is solely responsible for Tombstone's success, no question," Kilmer wrote. "I was there every minute and although Kurt's version differs slightly from mine, the one thing he's totally correct about is, how hard he worked the day before, for the next day's shot list, and tremendous effort he and I both put into editing, as the studio wouldn't give us any extra time to make up for the whole month we lost with the first director. We lost our first director after a month of shooting and I watched Kurt sacrifice his own role and energy to devote himself as a storyteller, even going so far as to draw up shot lists to help our replacement director, George Cosmatos, who came in with only 2 days prep. I was very clear and outspoken about what I wanted to do with my role, and actors like Powers Boothe, who we just lost, and Bill Paxton, were always 100 percent supportive, even in the blistering heat and sometimes as the day would fade, at the possible expense of their own screen time. Kurt did this for the film virtually every hour. ... Everyone cared, don't get me wrong, but Kurt put his money where his mouth was, and not a lot of stars extend themselves for the cast and crew. Not like he did."
Kilmer went on to say he "eventually moved in with [Russell] and slept on the sofa when Goldie wasn't in town, so we could use the extra 20 minutes writing or going over schedule etc. And I got all the best lines and he knew it and still laughed and joked every single day."
The actor also praised Russell for being a good father to his son and step-children and devoted partner to his girlfriend, Goldie Hawn.
"He's a true superstar and wildly underrated as an actor. Not many guys with his range," Kilmer concluded.