Val Kilmer on Reprising His Iconic 'Top Gun' Role and Continuing to Work Amid Cancer Battle (Exclusive)

The 60-year-old actor is featured in 'Top Gun: Maverick,' set to hit theaters next summer.

Val Kilmer isn't letting his battle with throat cancer stand in the way of his acting career.

In an exclusive new interview with ET, the 60-year-old actor opens up about why he's continuing to work amid recovery. Though talking can be challenging for him sometimes due to his tracheotomy, he remains optimistic. 

"I'm doing terrific. I sound like I've been run over by a cement mixer, [but] I feel fabulous," Kilmer tells ET's Kevin Frazier. "Some days are better than others, but I am very much improving, so, yeah, I'm going to work till I'm 150 years. I wanna play the oldest man on Earth."

Back in the 1980s, Kilmer portrayed Iceman in Top Gun, alongside Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards, Kelly McGillis and more. He'll be reprising that iconic role and reuniting with Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick, scheduled for release July 2, 2021.

Kilmer played coy, however, when asked to spill details on what fans can expect from the summer sequel.

"I have to tell you, Tom Cruise is very cool," he shares. "That is all I can tell you. The rest you will have to [find out]."

As fans patiently wait for Top Gun: Maverick, they can catch Kilmer in Paydirt, in theaters and on VOD and Digital HD on Friday. He co-stars in the film with his 28-year-old daughter, Mercedes. 

Mercedes tells ET that filming with her dad for the first time, and learning how to work alongside actors with different abilities, is definitely her biggest takeaway from the project.

"It was very exciting. Personally, it was a really positive integration of family into my work, and professionally I learned so much from working with my dad for a variety of reasons," she says. "Most directly what I learned ... is how much we all have to gain from hiring actors with different abilities."

Hear more in the video below.


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