Val Kilmer has opened up about overcoming speaking challenges following his battle with throat cancer.
Kilmer, 60, underwent a tracheotomy as a result of the disease several years ago, and though communication has now become difficult, he insists it’s just like any other challenge has he had to tackle.
‘I’m doing great. I feel a lot better than I sound,’ Val told Good Morning America in an interview which aired Monday.
‘You have to figure out a way to communicate’: Val Kilmer has opened up about overcoming speaking challenges following his battle with throat cancer
‘It’s just like any other language or dialect,’ Val explained.
‘You have to figure out a way to communicate that’s no different than any other acting challenge but it’s just a very unique set of circumstances.’
Val previously told the morning show he ‘healed quickly’ from cancer, and now uses the tracheotomy to help him breathe due to the swelling of his throat glands.
Val also discussed working with his daughter Mercedes Kilmer, 28, who is making her big screen debut in the upcoming thriller Paydirt, set for release August 7.
In good spirits: ‘I’m doing great. I feel a lot better than I sound,’ Val told Good Morning America in an interview which aired Monday
Health update: Val previously told the morning show he ‘healed quickly’ from cancer, and now uses the tracheotomy to help him breathe due to the swelling of his throat glands
The film sees Kilmer play a retired sheriff tracking down a parolee searching for buried money.
Mercedes plays his daughter, Jamie.
Appearing in the interview virtually, Mercedes said she was proud to be in the film as it starred a disability actor – her father.
‘I’m so proud to have been in this film and to have worked on this film like not just because my dad is my actual dad, but because I know you don’t really lead with this but you do have now a disability with your voice, and it really meant a lot to me to be able to be involved in this film that centers a disabled actor, or an actor with a disability.’
Family business: Kilmer stars opposite his daughter Mercedes Kilmer in the upcoming action film, Paydirt
Art imitates life: Mercedes plays Kilmer’s daughter Jamie in the film
Paydirt is just one of numerous films Kilmer will be starring in in the coming years, including the highly-anticipated sequel, Top Gun: Maverick.
Kilmer will be returning to his role of Iceman, but declined to share any details about the film during his GMA interview.
‘All I can tell you about the film is that my hair is not the same length,’ Kilmer said. ‘Iceman has not become Ice Monk.’
On top of his movie career, Kilmer has been back in the spotlight this last year with the release of his memoir, I’m Your Huckleberry, where he details his battle with cancer.
‘It really meant a lot to me’: Mercedes was proud to be working on a film starring a disabled actor – her father
The Batman actor found himself single and out of money from losing land investments in 2015, living in a cottage in Malibu with the postman and local burrito man as his best friends.
‘I was a weirdo beach bum and it was bliss – then bliss turned to mayhem. I coughed up coagulated blood. I presumed this was the day of my death’, Kilmer confesses in his memoir that chronicles his lost loves and lifelong spiritual journey.
Kilmer describes how he called for an ambulance and crawled up the wooden stairs from his guesthouse to the Pacific Coast Highway so the ambulance could find him.
Family affair: Mercedes is the daughter of the Top Gun actor and his ex-wife Joanne Whalley
He woke up in a Santa Monica hospital after an emergency tracheotomy for throat cancer.
His old lover Cher had him transferred to David Geffen’s School of Medicine at UCLA where he underwent chemo and radiation over a two-month stay.
A lifelong Christian Scientist following the beliefs of both of his parents, Kilmer wrote: ‘I do not deny miraculous healing’, Kilmer writes.
Reflecting on the cancer that had caused his tongue to swell and block his lymph passages, requiring two tracheotomies, Kilmer said: ‘The cancer miraculously healed much faster than any of the doctors predicted’.
Now when he talks, he has to put a finger to the aperture in his throat to be understood.
Open book: On top of his movie career, Kilmer has been back in the spotlight this last year with the release of his memoir, I’m Your Huckleberry, where he details his battle with cancer
That’s cool! Kilmer will be returning to his beloved role of Iceman in the upcoming Top Gun sequel, Top Gun: Maverick (pictured 1986)