Val Kilmer Shares How His Cancer Battle Changed Him

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Val Kilmer
FilmMagic

Val Kilmer has a new outlook on life after recovering from a battle with throat cancer.

The 57-year-old actor and his two children, Mercedes, 26, and Jack, 22, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about what their family has been going through over the past few years. According to the trade publication, Kilmer, a Christian Scientist, credits his faith for helping with his health, but notes that he also has undergone chemotherapy.

Nowadays, the Top Gun star says he has a much lighter way of looking at the world. "I was too serious," he admits, recalling his long-running acting career. "I'd get upset when things like Oscars and recognition failed to come my way."

As for his celebrity status, Kilmer postures, "Fame is sort of a mess. You get treated differently, but it doesn’t have anything to do with who you actually are."

Kilmer's view on being famous doesn't seem to be stopping his kids from trying their hand at show business. Jack says acting has allowed him to do "a little bit of everything, like an experiential dilettante," while Mercedes confesses that she "can't remember not being aware" that her father was a star. 

"It was about navigating how other people perceived us rather than any kind of reckoning," she explains.

Earlier this year, Kilmer opened up even more about being a cancer survivor during a Reddit AMA and the amount of support he received. "I am very grateful for all the prayers and good thoughts from around the world," he wrote. "It was an unspeakable sense of universal support while I was briefly in the hospital. Even two of my doctors mentioned praying with me, for me."

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