Actor Val Kilmer says his two-year battle with throat cancer has changed his outlook on life for the better.
Although the disease and a procedure on his trachea have rendered him short of breath and reduced his voice to a rasp, the 57-year-old actor says he has a better attitude than earlier in his career, when he was starring in blockbuster movies like “The Doors” and “Batman Forever.”
“I was too serious,” Kilmer told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’d get upset when things like Oscars and recognition failed to come my way.”
Kilmer doesn’t deny he likes the thought of being top gun in Hollywood.
“I would like to have more Oscars than anybody,” he said. “Meryl Streep must feel pretty good, you know? It must feel nice to know that everyone loves her. It’s about being loved.”
Kilmer’s cancer had been the subject of rumors for months, and he denied it whenever it came up. Michael Douglas publicly revealed Kilmer’s cancer battle in October 2016, but Kilmer released a statement saying the “Wall Street” star was “misinformed.”
Kilmer finally admitted he was battling cancer in May in a Reddit AMA chat:
“I did have a healing of cancer, but my tongue is still swollen altho healing all the time. Because I don’t sound my normal self yet people think I may still be under the weather.”
These days, Kilmer said he’s more interested in family than fame.
Kilmer’s two kids with ex-wife Joanne Whalley, an actress he met while starring in Ron Howard’s 1988 film, “Willow,” are both actors, and Kilmer said he tries to impart life lessons to them.
“Fame is sort of a mess,” Kilmer said. “You get treated differently, but it doesn’t have anything to do with who you actually are.”