After several delays, director Oliver Stone finally started production on the film The Doors, based on the band of the same name. Kilmer spoke with Oliver Stone early on, concerned about what he might want to do with the story because Kilmer did not believe in or want to promote substance abuse. Kilmer saw Morrison as having picked the wrong heroes, who had different issues, that were not part of the creativity or inspiration. Kilmer saw Morrison's story as one that could be told "a thousand different ways" and didn't want to tell it by playing the role in the style of drugs, with which Oliver Stone agreed. Kilmer memorized the lyrics to all of lead singer Jim Morrison's songs prior to his audition, and sent a video of himself performing some Doors songs to director Stone. Stone was not impressed with the tape, but Paul Rothchild (the original producer of The Doors) said "I was shaken by it" and suggested they record Kilmer in the studio. After Kilmer was cast as Morrison, he prepared for the role by attending Doors tribute concerts and reading Morrison's poetry.
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