Val Kilmer was once one of the biggest actors of his generation. The Juilliard trained actor was Ice Man in Top Gun, Doc Holliday in Tombstone, Jim Morrison in The Doors, and he was even Batman. While he may be a huge Hollywood star, his two children with ex-wife Joanne Whalley (also an actor) have quietly been rising performers themselves -- Mercedes and Jack Kilmer. The Kilmer children were raised in New Mexico away from all the craziness of Los Angeles but ultimately decided that after being raised by two actors, performing was just in their blood.
In 2015, Kilmer was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent a tracheotomy that has since seriously affected his voice. But he hasn't let that bring him down. In his daughter Mercedes' feature film debut, he starred opposite her in Paydirt. Kilmer's voice is dubbed in the film but his daughter hopes that his performance will seriously impact the opportunities that disabled performers have moving forward.
"I think that because he is so well known, it will open more doors for other actors that are less well known that have different abilities to be able to be hired," Mercedes told Today. "I think it's really monumentous actually and I'm really, genuinely so proud of having been involved."
As for making her big-screen debut opposite her famous father...it was actually a great experience. The up and coming actress really enjoyed getting to not only watch her father work but to grow as an actor on set.
"He didn't give me any pointers, which is something I'm really grateful for," she told Fox News. "It must have been difficult for him because he loves talking about acting and he's so passionate about the craft, but he respectfully allowed me to have my own experience with it. It was nice to integrate his love for acting into our relationship, especially growing up and witnessing that. [This film] hasn't changed our relationship. If anything, it only made it better."
As for Jack, he was ready to be in front of the camera before his sister who chose to begin her acting career in theater, only recently transitioning to the screen. Only he didn't really know it at the time. Jack had grown up friends with Gia Coppola, granddaughter of historic director Francis Ford Coppola, and auditioned for her film Palo Alto as a favor he explained to HuffPost. With no prior experience, he found himself starring as Teddy in the film based on James Franco's short story opposite Franco, Nat Wolff, and Emma Roberts.
"It was kind of an unusual audition because of the process with Gia. She had written the script and invited me over to read it and to kind of put some of the lines in my own words. She wanted to hear it how I would naturally say it and ask me how it was being 17 and stuff. And then she said, "Okay, why don't we put you on tape doing the same thing." Sort of a cool way for her to have me audition -- and then she offered it to me."
He's since appeared in The Stanford Prison Experiment, the black metal film from Jonas Akerlund that screened at the Sundance Film Festival -- Lords of Chaos, Hala, The Pretenders, The Nice Guys, Woodshock, and Wobble Palace. He's even known for appearing in an Ozzy Osbourne music video for "Under the Graveyard."