Val Kilmer covers People, filmmakers call him positive, genuine, spiritual

— People (@people) August 25, 2021

I swear I was going to watch Val last night and got tired so I put it off until Friday. Then I saw this story and wished I hadn’t. Val, for anyone who doesn’t know, is the documentary Val Kilmer produced that uses decades of footage he took from sets and other areas of his life. Val’s been out of the public eye for years as he underwent treatment for throat cancer. For a long time, there were rumors he was sick, but he wouldn’t confirm them, wishing to battle his illness in private. He is now allowing us in to more of his life than he ever has before. Following the release of Val, his story got the cover of People. The interview is mainly with the film’s co-directors, Leo Scott and Ting Poo, because it’s difficult for Val to speak since his tracheostomy. Although I’ve always loved Val as an actor, I’d heard rumors about him as a person. According to this interview, either those rumors were incorrect, or Val was misunderstood. Or, as is very possible, he has a whole new outlook since beating cancer because the filmmakers said he was not only ego-free, but he was also positive and deeply spiritual.

Six years after a throat cancer diagnosis and the radiation and chemotherapy treatments that followed, along with a tracheostomy that permanently damaged his speaking voice, Val Kilmer has a new lease on life.

Now cancer-free and on this week’s cover of PEOPLE, the actor, 61, is showing a side of himself that fans have never seen in the new Amazon Original Documentary Val.

The film is co-directed by Leo Scott and Ting Poo and produced by Kilmer, his son Jack, 26, and his daughter Mercedes, 29. Scott, Poo, Jack and Mercedes all spoke to PEOPLE in this week’s issue.

Poo respects how open Kilmer was to collaborating with them and showing all facets of his personal and professional life.

“He doesn’t have the vanity that you would expect from someone of his fame and celebrity. There was never any of that kind of artifice or protection that people who are really famous have to put up around themselves,” she says. “It’s humbling to be around that.”

She continues: “He’s such a layered person, there’s the childlike playfulness, but then there’s also the deep wisdom of somebody who’s been on a spiritual path their whole life at the same time. He’s a lot of opposites that make him incredibly interesting, and it’s kind of why our film is so interesting.”

“He’s continued to express himself creatively,” says Scott. “He makes incredible pieces of art. He’s always positive and is not someone who has self-pity.”

Scott adds: “He has evolved like all of us, but in the material from the past [in the documentary], you see so many of the same kind of themes: he’s always been a spiritual person, he’s always been incredibly creative, super hilarious and he’s always been so besotted with his children, and all of that remains.”

In Val, Kilmer says he looks forward to his future, whatever it holds.

“I have behaved bizarrely to some. I deny none of this and have no regrets because I have lost and found parts of myself that I never knew existed,” the actor says in the film. “I am blessed.”

[From People]

This makes me want to see Val even more. I find Val quite enigmatic and like the idea of bearing witness to his life through real footage. I understand it will be edited to fit a certain narrative, but I want to know what he found important enough to record. And it looks like he’s had a camera his whole life, not just when he got famous. It’ll be interesting to see the progression from pre to post fame. After reading this article, I want to see if this positive and genuine person is always who he’s been or is it who emerged after battling the cancer beast. I don’t need him to be a certain way for any agenda I have, I’m genuinely curious.

It was reported last week that the British company Sonantic recreated Val’s voice for him and released a sample. I don’t know how it will be used but it’s amazing work. I’m glad Val decided to re-enter the spotlight. I’m glad he did it on his terms. Most of all, I’m glad he’s living cancer free and has a second chance at life. Sounds like he understands what a gift that is.

Here is the trailer for Val:

A post shared by Val Kilmer (@valkilmerofficial)

A post shared by Val Kilmer (@valkilmerofficial)

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