Val Kilmer has revealed he finds it ‘difficult to talk and be understood’ after having a tracheotomy – an incision made in the neck, often for a tube – amid his throat cancer recovery.
Fans have praised the Batman star as the trailer for his Amazon Prime documentary, Val, landed this week and shared an insight into the star’s health.
The 61-year-old actor – who was diagnosed with the disease in 2015, but only revealed his health problems two years later after actor Michael Douglas broke the news – is determined to tell his story ‘more than ever’, even though he doesn’t find it easy to communicate these days.
In a teaser for the upcoming documentary, he said: ‘I was recently diagnosed with throat cancer.
‘I’m still recovering, and it is difficult to talk and be understood. But I want to tell my story more than ever.’
The Top Gun star is seen using a voice box device to help him speak in the clip.
He added: ‘I spent decades finding my voice through characters. I’ve tried to see the world as one piece of life.’
Val – who is a Christian Scientist – also reflected on his life so far in the short clip, telling the camera: ‘I have behaved poorly, I have behaved bravely…. bizarrely to some.’
The trailer begins with video footage of the actor in his younger years and clips from his films, before Val explains he’s amassed thousands of hours of video footage over the years.
He said: ‘My name is Val Kilmer; I’m an actor. I’ve lived a magical life and captured quite a bit of it. I was the first guy I knew to own a video camera.’
Fans reacted to the trailer and shared their praise and support for Val, with one writing on Twitter: ‘An absolute brilliant talent of an actor. Val Kilmer has made some classic movies throughout his career. Heartbreaking to see him suffer 😔 A documentary everyone should keep an eye on. Looks outstanding.’
‘Thank you for sharing your precious life with us. I’m very excited and looking forward to seeing,’ another supporter mused. ‘l’m praying for your health and happiness forever.’
Val previously said he only agreed to undergo cancer treatment because of his children Mercedes, and Jack, whom he has with his ex-wife Joanne Whalley.
He said: ‘[I had the] suggestion of throat cancer. [In Christian Science], the idea is rather than say I have it or possess it, there is a claim, there’s a suggestion that this is a fact.
‘I just didn’t want to experience their fear, which was profound. I would’ve had to go away, and I just didn’t want to be without them.’
His daughter Mercedes, who he shares with ex-wife Joanne Whalley, recalled the ‘devastating’ moment Val eventually was diagnosed for the first time with stage four cancer, after collapsing at his LA home when the tumour burst in 2015.
Until then, he hadn’t been formally diagnosed and Mercedes – who appears alongside Val in film Paydirt – said she didn’t think her dad would survive long after his diagnosis, as the cancer was so advanced.
Speaking to The Mirror, she said: ‘The doctor said he had stage 4 cancer, he hadn’t been formally diagnosed until then. It was devastating.
‘I thought that was it, because it was such an advanced state, I didn’t think he’d survive long.’
She explained how her dad was determined to fight off the cancer on his own, adding: ‘People had really wanted him to get it attended to, but he had faith in his body’s ability to fight it off.
‘It was obvious he was sick, but he didn’t want to go to the doctor, which I respect, he wanted to do things his way.’
Val is scheduled for release August 6.
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