'I'm so used to people not understanding my dad,' Mercedes Kilmer tells ET.
Val Kilmer's children couldn't be more excited to have people watch their father's life story.
The 61-year-old actor's upbringing and career are highlighted in the upcoming documentary, Val. The film, narrated by his son Jack, features intimate home movies and behind-the-scenes footage from movie sets throughout Kilmer's career. ET's Denny Directo spoke with Jack and Mercedes ahead of the documentary's release, where Mercedes touched on the most emotional part of watching the project.
"The entire movie made me emotional. I wouldn't say things surprised me about my dad. He's such an open person that I know very well," Mercedes expressed. "But it did really surprise me to see it with an audience. I'm so used to people not understanding my dad. I'm so used to his public image being different than the playful, funny person that we know."
"It did really move me and surprise me to see audiences really see him for the first time," she continued. "That was incredible. To see this collage of all of these different lives and selves, to see it narrativized lucidly and to see an audience... To see our lives made sense of in this two-hour narrative was pretty profound."
Kilmer's kids shared that the documentary has "been a long time coming."
"He's always documented his life and he's been very ahead of the times in that respect," Mercedes noted, with Jack adding, "I think he wanted people to see different sides of him that hadn't been seen before in the public eye. I think he really had something to say about life and about creativity. I'm not quite sure how to articulate that message, but it's very clear in the film that he loves life and he is dedicated to being a creative person."
As for what they learned about their father after watching the film, Jack shared that he didn't know that Kilmer's character in Tombstone was a dentist.
"I did not know that Doc Holliday was a dentist. I obviously knew the doc part, but I thought that was a cool nickname," he divulged. "There was so much I didn't know. My dad is really dedicated to acting and he doesn't really talk about his process that often...But just to see him as a young man, just learn this craft, it was just so cool."
Meanwhile, the documentary also shows Kilmer's emotional cancer journey. The Batman Forever star has been battling throat cancer since 2015 and underwent a tracheotomy that has made it difficult for him to speak. Mercedes and Jack also told ET during the Los Angeles premiere their father is currently doing well and has seen his documentary.
"He's doing really well, he's like, you know, he's seen it probably a thousand times so we can't control what he does," Mercedes shared.
"It's very emotional for him to watch it and we wish he could be here but, you know, he's here in spirit and he's just so proud of this and that people get to see a side of him that has never been seen before," Jack added.
Val begins streaming on Amazon Prime Video on Aug. 6.