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The new movie Top Gun: Maverick is already a huge hit, as it has smashed weekend box office records. Now, the Hollywood star Val Kilmer is opening up about how emotional it was to return to his role of Tom “Iceman” Kazansky in the film. 

Kilmer Appears In ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

After a battle with throat cancer in the 2010s, Kilmer had to undergo a tracheotomy, and his speaking voice remains heavily impacted by this to this day. Despite this, he was determined to appear in Top Gun: Maverick, and his reunion with Tom Cruise on-screen has been emotional for him as well as for his fans.

“I was very moved the first time I saw it. Almost 40 years is a long time for a reunion,” Kilmer, 62, told USA Today via email. “We laughed all day. Tom is great and surprisingly funny!!”

Joseph Kosinski, the director of Top Gun: Maverick, explained that there were real emotions behind this scene.

“It’s a long friendship. They were both there at their career beginnings with the original ‘Top Gun.’ I’m sure there was a little bit of a rivalry back then, just like the characters,” said Kosinski. “But for both to be back in this movie, it was a really special moment. There was so much joy.”

Kilmer also said that he’s been pushing for a Top Gun sequel for decades, as he knew it would be a hit. 

“I called the agent immediately,” Kilmer said. “Yes, Top Gun has all the perfect elements for a sequel.”

Related: After Losing His Voice To Cancer – Val Kilmer Speaks Again For Top Gun: Maverick

‘I Love Tom’

Kilmer’s scene in the new movie ends with him hugging Cruise’s character in a moment that he said came “straight from the heart.”

“I love Tom,” he explained. “We’ve always gotten along great.”

Insider reported that Top Gun: Maverick producer Jerry Bruckheimer said last summer that Cruise was the “driving force” behind ensuring that Kilmer would be in this movie.

“He said, ‘We have to have Val, we have to have him back. We have to have him in the film,'” Bruckheimer recalled. “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 went on to say that 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.”

Find out more about this in the video below. 

Related: What Life’s Like For 1980s Heartthrob Val Kilmer After Surviving Throat Cancer

Kilmer Wants To Work In Hollywood Again

Kilmer concluded by saying that he is feeling healthy these days and that he is eager for more work in Hollywood. 

“I’m feeling strong and excited to play any chance I get,” he stated. 

We’re so glad to see Kilmer back on our screens again, and we hope that this is just the beginning of his resurgence in Hollywood! Be sure to check out Top Gun: Maverick for yourself to see his emotional reunion with Cruise.