Val Kilmer, who recently discussed his two-year battle with throat cancer in the documentary VAL, filmed a cameo for the sequel to one of his biggest movies, Top Gun. His daughter, Mercedes Kilmer, who was on set, said the process was “extraordinary.”


The cameo sees Kilmer’s character, Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, as a commander in the U.S. Navy, and has a short reunion with his old rival, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, the protagonist played by Tom Cruise. Emotions were high on set as plenty of the cast and crew had worked on the original Top Gun 26 years prior.

“It was trippy,” Mercedes added, “and very special for my dad to be on set with all of his friends who made this movie when they were my age.” While Kilmer can currently speak in a “raspy” tone, he had less capacity to speak when filming the role. He worked with the film’s producers and AI company Sonantic and reconstructed his voice out of archival clips, which they were then able to dub over his performance.


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Kilmer has been completely cancer-free for six years. While Mercedes said he has avoided public premieres of Maverick out of caution due to the ongoing pandemic, he’s still working on many different projects to her shock. “Some people are like ‘Oh, I have a cold, I’m not going to act today,’ but he really doesn’t let anything stop him. I wish he would take a break,” she cracked.

You can watch the trailer for VAL here, which takes a sweeping and intimate look at the actor’s life and career with hours of home video footage he shot, along with intimate interviews now about the health struggles he has since thankfully overcome.

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