Val Kilmer’s Kids Open Up About the Actor’s New Outlook on Life Post-Cancer

by Keeli Parkey
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Val Kilmer’s battle with cancer has truly been a battle. The 61-year-old movie star has fought hard to survive. And now that he is on the road to recovery, his children say the actor “can’t be stopped.”

Kilmer, who is known for such films as “Top Gun,” “Tombstone,” and “Willow,” was diagnosed with throat cancer during 2015, according to PEOPLE. In order to beat the disease, he had to undergo radiation and chemotherapy. He also had to have a tracheostomy. This procedure injured his vocal cords, which forever changed the actor’s speaking voice. Fortunately, he is now cancer-free.

However, through it all, Val Kilmer kept his creativity alive, according to his 26-year-old son, Jack Kilmer. “My dad’s been crazy prolific since he was diagnosed with cancer, sometimes against his better judgment,” Jack told the publication.

Film Documents Actor’s Battle With Cancer

Jack and his sister, 29-year-old Mercedes Kilmer, recently joined forces to help produce a documentary about their famous father. The documentary is simply titled, “Val.” It is available on Prime Video. Jack and Mercedes have said the documentary has dark moments. However, it is also filled with light moments. These show the humorous and sweet sides of Val Kilmer.

The documentary was directed by Leo Scott and Ting Poo. It was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in July. The audience loved it and stood up and applauded at the end. As great as that felt, seeing Jack and Mercedes react to “Val” was even better, according to Poo.

“Jack had seen a lot of the film, and Mercedes had seen scenes, but she’d never seen the whole thing together, and so we had a little bit of a nervousness around it. But she was the best audience member,” Poo shard. “She was laughing, clapping loudly during it, and I think that was the best part of the whole experience.”

Val Kilmer’s Daughter Says Is an Inspiration to Her

Mercedes said that her father has been an inspiration to her, especially during his cancer battle.

“When he was first diagnosed, the prognosis did not look very good. But he’s always been very physically resilient,” Mercedes also said. “The way he’s related to his illness has definitely been very inspiring.”

One thing she loves about her father is his ability to bring levity to trying moments.

“He has such a sense of humor,” Mercedes also said. “Even in the hospital he’d be cracking jokes and making all of the doctors laugh.”

Unsurprisingly, Val Kilmer’s cancer battle was not without some very serious challenges, according to his daughter.

“But, of course, it’s really difficult to go through that with a parent and also to go through it with someone in the public eye,” Mercedes also said.

According to Jack, his father is ready to keep working and to keep making hit films.

“He’s a guy who wants to go out there and just be the best that he can be and he doesn’t have time to think about how vulnerable he is because he’s thinking about the next smash-box-office hit. He has crazy energy. He can’t be stopped,” Jack also said.

Val Kilmer is also a painter. A project close to his heart is growing HelMel Studios. This is an incubator for galleries and artists in Los Angeles.

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