Famed actor Val Kilmer underwent a tracheotomy as part of his battle against throat cancer last year that dramatically altered the sound of his voice. The Top Gun star felt great after the surgery but struggled to adjust to his new voice. As a result, he worked with a software firm to create an AI version of his iconic voice in order to regain what he had lost.
Cutting Edge Technology Helped Val Kilmer Find His Voice Again
By working with UK-based software company Sonatic, which is a firm that clones voices, Val Kilmer was able to regain his voice following a tracheotomy that severely altered the way he spoke. The company released a video to show how it managed to help the 61-year-old actor regain his voice, and the results are unbelievable. The firm achieved these amazing results by creating an AI (Artificial Intelligence) version of Kilmer’s voice.
The actor worked closely with the company, providing archival footage of his voice in order to create the model. In the short clip shared by Sonatic, Kilmer used the AI voice to say, “My voice as I knew it was taken away from me. People around me struggle to understand when I’m talking. But despite all that I still feel I’m the exact same person.”
He added, “Still the same creative soul. A soul that dreams ideas and stories confidently, but now I can express myself again, bring these ideas to you, and show you this part of myself once more. A part that was never truly gone. Just hiding away.”
See The Video Below – It’s Truly Uncanny
“I’m grateful to the entire team at Sonantic who masterfully restored my voice in a way I’ve never imagined possible,” Kilmer said in a statement to The Wrap. “As human beings, the ability to communicate is the core of our existence and the side effects from throat cancer have made it difficult for others to understand me. The chance to narrate my story, in a voice that feels authentic and familiar, is an incredibly special gift.”
The news of Kilmer’s new, yet familiar, voice comes just after the release of Val, a documentary following Kilmer’s rise to fame, his life, as well as his recovery from throat cancer. It also follows his return to the big screen in 2020’s Paydirt, which also starred the actor’s daughter Mercedes in her debut film. The two portrayed a father and daughter on the screen, which Mercedes described on Good Morning America as “so trippy and perfect.”
In that same interview, Kilmer gave some rare details about his adjustment to his new voice, explaining, “It’s just like any other language or dialect. You have to figure out a way to communicate that’s no different than any other acting challenge but it’s just a very unique set of circumstances.” Now Kilmer has another set of tools in his arsenal to address the challenges he faces post-tracheotomy, which has to be a relief not only to him, but to his loved ones.