Val Kilmer, 60, sat down with The New York Times for a rollicking interview that touched on a number of subjects, including his cancer diagnosis, religion, love and bats.


Before meeting his now-ex-wife Joanne Whalley, Kilmer says he dreamt he met the woman of his dream. When he woke, he wrote a poem called, “We’ve Just Met but Marry Me Please.” 

Then, he visited London and saw a play with her in it. He followed her to a party and stared at her all night, but didn’t make a move. Two years later in 1987, they were cast in Willow, and they got married. 


Traveling to Africa in 1994, he spent the day exploring a bat cave. Later, he called his agent on a whim, who told him he was trying to get in touch with him to see if he wanted to play Batman. He did. 


Initially, he says he planned to treat his throat cancer through his Christian Science faith. But then his kids, Jack, 24, and Mercedes, 28, intervened. 

"I just didn’t want to experience their fear, which was profound," Kilmer says. "I would’ve had to go away, and I just didn’t want to be without them."

He went through chemo and radiation, and now he has a tracheostomy tube and a feeding tube. 

He now believes the tube is “from radiation and chemotherapy. It’s not from cancer. That 'treatment' caused my suffering."


He also doesn’t believe in time or death in the traditional sense. "Someone comes up to you and says you have only four months to live, and the concept of time is a human one. So, if you describe the divine concept of time, there is no time," he explains.

Kilmer continues: “Everyone has to work out their own salvation. How to live and by what morality, and I found that the part that I feel bad about is hurting somebody in the process."

Kilmer will next be seen in the widely anticipated sequel to Top Gun with Tom Cruise