KEY POINTS

  • Val Kilmer's daughter, Mercedes, was on the set of "Top Gun: Maverick" when her dad filmed a cameo appearance with Tom Cruise
  • Mercedes said her dad was "very proud" of "Top Gun" and being part of the sequel "means a lot" to him
  • Cruise described his scene with Kilmer in the upcoming sequel as "very special"

Val Kilmer's daughter, Mercedes, is opening up about her dad's return to "Top Gun."

Kilmer and Tom Cruise reunite as rivals-turned-friends Tom "Iceman" Kazansky and Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, respectively, in "Top Gun: Maverick," 36 years after the classic original film was released.

Mercedes, 30, recalled watching her father, now 62, film his cameo appearance, which featured an emotional reunion between the former hotshots in the office of Iceman, who is now a commander in the Navy, the New York Post's Page Six reported.

According to the singer and actress, returning to "Top Gun" meant a lot to Kilmer, who survived throat cancer.

"I was on set, I saw it live and it was extraordinary," she told the outlet. "It means a lot to my dad as he's very proud of that film. This is what he loves to do."

Earlier this month, Cruise, who "rallied hard" to have Kilmer in the first "Top Gun" movie despite the latter's initial lack of enthusiasm to co-star with him, told Entertainment Tonight that his scene with Kilmer in the upcoming sequel is "very special."

"He's beautiful," Cruise added of his co-star, whom he also described as a "tremendous actor."

Mercedes also shared her thoughts on watching her father reprise the role that he first played when he was 26 years old.

"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," she said.

Kilmer's cameo comes after his two-year battle with throat cancer, which saw him lose his voice. His sound in "Maverick" was recreated using archival recordings and sophisticated technologies.

Although Kilmer was happy to be part of "Top Gun: Maverick," he didn't attend the film's premieres in San Deigo, California, on May 4, at the Cannes Film Festival Wednesday night and at the Royal Variety Performance in London attended by Prince William and Kate Middleton Thursday night. The actor wanted to avoid the crowd due to the pandemic, according to his daughter.

But while he remained at home in Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, his children, Jack and Mercedes, walked the red carpet at Cannes on France’s Côte d’Azur on his behalf.

"I never underestimate my dad. He’s a very resilient person, nothing surprises me," Mercedes said. "Now that he has his voice [thanks to technology], he can absolutely take on more projects."

Mercedes also praised her father's commitment to acting, saying Kilmer "doesn't let anything stop him" when it comes to his projects.

She also has one wish for her dad, adding: "I wish he would take a break!"

Fans of Kilmer got their first glimpse of his health struggles in his documentary "Val," which premiered last summer. The documentary also featured his home videos which he filmed in the backyard with his brother Wesley. Kilmer has been cancer-free for six years now.

"You have to make the choice to breathe or to eat. It's an obstacle that is very present with whoever sees me," Kilmer said in the Amazon Original documentary with his raspy voice. "Now that it's more difficult to speak, I want to tell my story more than ever. I obviously am sounding much worse than I feel. I can't speak without plugging this hole [in his throat]."

"Top Gun: Maverick" hits theaters Friday.

Val Kilmer Val Kilmer recently revealed that he is doing much better after his two-year battle with throat cancer. Pictured: Kilmer poses for a photo with a Koala during a visit to WILD LIFE Sydney on Oct. 12, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. Photo: WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo via Getty Images