Val Kilmer's Daughter Calls His 'Top Gun 2' Experience 'Special': 'This Is What He Loves to Do'

Mercedes Kilmer said it was "trippy" for dad Val Kilmer to "be on set with all of his friends who made this movie when they were my age"

val and mercedes Kilmer
Val Kilmer and daughter Mercedes in 2019. Photo: Michael Tullberg/Getty

Val Kilmer's daughter Mercedes is expressing how meaningful it was for the actor to revisit his Top Gun role.

The 62-year-old star reunites with Tom Cruise for an emotional scene in Top Gun: Maverick. Mercedes, 30, told the New York Post she was on set that day and recalled the reunion as "extraordinary."

"It means a lot to my dad as he's very proud of that film. This is what he loves to do," she said. "It was trippy and very special for my dad to be on set with all of his friends who made this movie when they were my age."

Kilmer played Tom "Iceman" Kazansky in the 1986 original, while Cruise, now 59, starred as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell.

Cruise recently told Entertainment Tonight about his experience reprising his role alongside Kilmer, saying that he "really rallied hard for" Kilmer to be in the movie. Added Cruise, "The kind of talent that he has, and you see that scene, it's very special. It's just very special."

Val Kilmer
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Producer Jerry Bruckheimer told PEOPLE last year that Cruise "really wanted" Kilmer in the new film.

"He said, 'We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film,' " Bruckheimer said at the time. "And he was the driving force. We all wanted him, but Tom was really adamant that if he's going to make another Top Gun, Val had to be in it."

Bruckheimer said Kilmer is "such a fine actor, and he's such a good individual. We had such a good time on the first one and wanted to bring some of the gang back together again."

Mercedes and her brother Jack previously opened up to PEOPLE about their dad and the star's battle with throat cancer in 2015, which required chemotherapy, radiation and a tracheostomy that damaged his vocal cords and permanently altered his speaking voice.

"When he was first diagnosed, the prognosis did not look very good," said Mercedes in August. "But he's always been very physically resilient. The way he's related to his illness has definitely been very inspiring. He has such a sense of humor. Even in the hospital he'd be cracking jokes and making all of the doctors laugh. But, of course, it's really difficult to go through that with a parent and also to go through it with someone in the public eye."

Top Gun: Maverick is in theaters Friday.

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