There’s a lot to look forward to ahead of the premiere of Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun” sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick.” Aside from real-life aerial stunts and a sure-to-be captivating plot, “Top Gun” fans can not only look forward to seeing a star-studded cast; they can also look forward to the return of the film original star Val Kilmer, who reprises his role as Maverick’s former rival, Iceman.
Now, with just days to go until the new film drops in theaters, Val Kilmer’s daughter, Mercedes Kilmer, is speaking out about her dad’s experience reprising his role and her own experience watching him work on the project.
“I was on set, I saw it live and it was extraordinary,” Kilmer, 30, shared with the New York Post. She continued, “It means a lot to my dad, as he’s very proud of that film. This is what he loves to do.”
Of the experience, she further said, “It was trippy, and very special, for my dad to be on set with all of his friends who made this movie when they were my age.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Val Kilmer’s role in “Top Gun: Maverick” is brief. As per the outlet, the Iceman actor has largely lost his ability to speak due to radiation and chemotherapy as a result of throat cancer. Last year, his daughter Mercedes shared, “He has never really wanted to look back anyway.”
Tom Cruised Refused to Produce ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Without Val Kilmer
Now, Val Kilmer is currently cancer-free, and as such, “Top Gun: Maverick” producer Jerry Bruckheimer revealed the franchise star, Tom Cruise, refused to do a sequel without his old costar.
“Tom said, ‘I’m not making this movie without Val,'” Bruckheimer revealed. While Mercedes Kilmer revealed how special her father’s return to the set truly was, we receive further confirmation from the film’s producer.
“When we filmed [the scene], it was a very emotional day,” Bruckheimer revealed, “having Val there and seeing him work with Tom after 35 years.”
Previously, Val Kilmer himself spoke out about what it was like to reprise his role as Iceman. While speaking with PEOPLE, he said, reprising his “Top Gun” role felt “like being reunited with a long lost friend.”
He explained, “The characters never really go away. They live on in deep freeze. If you’ll pardon the pun.”
During the interview, Kilmer also recalled his experience on the set along with the cast of the original “Top Gun.” More than anything, he spoke to the friendly atmosphere that penetrated the entirety of the movie’s filming.
“My main joy,” he said, “was the camaraderie of the cast, [producers] Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, along with the incredible, unflappable enthusiasm of [director] Tony Scott and Tom Cruise.”