Val Kilmer’s upcoming documentary Val sees the actor using a voice box device to speak, as he talks openly about his slow recovery from throat cancer.
In a teaser for the Amazon Prime feature, the 61-year-old actor is heard saying ‘I’ve tried to see the world, as one piece of life’ as he presses down on the electronic tool.
A voice box device is most commonly a battery operated machine that produces sound to create a voice, and is used to help those suffering with throat cancer communicate.
The emotional documentary shows the actor – who was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014, and went public with it in 2017 after initially denying he was ill – breaking down in tears as he discusses his health battles.
‘It’s difficult to talk and be understood’: Val Kilmer uses a voice box to discuss throat cancer recovery as he breaks down in tears over health battle in emotional trailer for documentary Val
‘I was recently diagnosed with throat cancer,’ an actor’s voice is heard narrating the footage.
‘I’m still recovering, and it is difficult to talk and be understood. But I want to tell my store more than ever,’ he adds.
Kilmer – who is a devout Christian Scientist – also says about his life: ‘I have behaved poorly, I have behaved bravely…. bizarrely to some.’
Emotional: The actor is seen breaking down in tears at one point, after saying ‘I’ve tried to see the world, as one piece of life.’
Candid: Kilmer is seen in his home in Los Angeles talking about his health battles
Opening up: Footage from the documentary shows the actor going about his daily life as he recovers from throat cancer
Home footage: The documentary promises to show hours of previously unseen footage from the actor’s life
The documentary starts with video footage of the actor in his younger years, as some of his classic films like Top Gun, Heat and Batman Forever are flashed on the screen.
Kilmer then explains how he was one of the first people in his social circle to own a video camera, and has shot thousands of hours of footage throughout his life.
A-List actors like Sean Penn and Kevin Bacon can been seen in the footage, which Bacon overheard saying, ‘This is really cool Val.’
Iconic: Val as Iceman while filming Top Gun, alongside Tom Cruise
Legend has it: Iceman was a role Kilmer never wanted, but 34 years later has said that he is ‘proud’ to be in the sequel Top Gun: Maverick
The Top Gun star first revealed his cancer diagnosis during a 2017 Reddit AMA session to promote a film, after a fan referenced the fact that Michael Douglas had let slip in 2016 that he was ill.
He underwent a tracheotomy as a result of the disease several years ago, and though communication has now become difficult, last year in an interview he insisted it’s just like any other challenge has he had to tackle.
‘I’m doing great. I feel a lot better than I sound,’ Kilmer told Good Morning America in an interview which aired last August.
Kilmer 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.
He also detailed his health struggles in his 2020 memoir I’m Your Huckleberry.
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.
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.