Val Kilmer opens up about cancer diagnosis in new documentary trailer

The 'Top Gun' star underwent a tracheotomy after a throat cancer diagnosis in 2015 and now uses a voice box

Val Kilmer is set to tell the story of his "magical life" in a new Amazon Prime Video documentary, Val, which is premiering at the Cannes Film Festival this week.

Sharing unseen, private footage that dates back to the 1970s, the Top Gun actor, 61, has also documented his recovery from throat cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2015.

Initially keeping his diagnosis a secret, the actor underwent a tracheotomy that affects his ability to speak. He now uses a voice box to talk.

"I was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. I'm still recovering, and it is difficult to talk and to be understood," he says in the trailer.

Watch the Val trailer here:

Throughout his illustrious career, Kilmer has starred in The Doors, Batman Forever, Heat and Thunderheart.

“My name is Val Kilmer. I’m an actor,” he says in the trailer, “I’ve lived a magical life and I’ve captured quite a bit of it.”

In personal footage featured in the trailer, a young Kilmer is seen with Slab Boys Broadway co-stars Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn back in 1983.

“I was the first guy I knew to own a video camera. I have thousands of hours of video tapes and film reels that I’ve shot through my life and career,” he says.

A young Bacon then reacts to him using a camera in footage from the early '80s, saying: “That’s really cool, Val.”

The footage tracks the span of Kilmer's career, with more recent clips showing him struggling to speak and using the voice box.

“I have behaved poorly. I have behaved bravely. Bizarrely to some,” he says in the narration. “I see myself as a sensitive, intelligent human being but with a soul of a clown.”

Tweeting the trailer's release, he wrote: "It feels like yesterday and yet it has been a lifetime. As I write this, my documentary is getting ready to premiere at Festival De Cannes. And as grateful as I am for being selected with this high honour, I look forward most to sharing my life's story with all of you."

The documentary is directed by Leo Scott and Ting Poo.

Val will be released in the US on July 23, and on Amazon Prime Video on August 6

Updated: July 7th 2021, 1:03 PM
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