The Hollywood star Val Kilmer’s two children Jack and Mercedes are opening up this week about the legacy that they hope their father leaves behind as he continues to battle throat cancer.
“What I’m very proud of about our dad is that he trained at Juilliard. He’s a very dedicated intellectual actor, classically trained actor, but he also has a very populous mentality,” Mercedes told Entertainment Tonight.
“He’s always really had a lot of reverence for big Hollywood pictures,” she added. “I think he’s been able to do something that not many people have, which is to bring that level of craft into these big, comic book acting, like big Hollywood movies, because he’s always really loved the entertainment for the people.”
“I think he could have had a more academic elitist career, but that’s something that I think is his legacy,” Mercedes continued. “That he has been able to integrate a lot of what is great about American film, entertainment and theater.”
Jack agreed with this assessment, saying that their 61 year-old father is “a combination of Marlon Brando, Britney Spears and throw in Jimmy Hendrix too.”
The siblings also talked about the upcoming documentary Val, which takes a look at their father’s life.
“My dad started making this movie in the ’60s. He’s always documented his life and he’s been very ahead of the times in that respect,” Mercedes said. “Him and his brothers would make little movies and just document everything when he was younger, but with a real cinematic eye as well. It’s been a long time coming.”
“The entire movie made me emotional,” she added. “It did really surprise me to see it with an audience. I’m so used to people not understanding my dad, and 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. That was incredible.”
Jack, who narrates his father’s writings in the film, said that his dad wants fans to see “different sides of him.”
“I think he really had something to say about life, and about creativity,” he explained. “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 creating and being a creative person.”
“My dad is really dedicated to acting and he doesn’t really talk about his process that often,” Jack concluded. “Maybe that’s because he’s at a ninja level of acting. But just to see him as a young man and learn this craft is just so cool.”