Val Kilmer Speaks for All People with Communication Difficulties Relating To His Top Gun: Maverick Performance

Val Kilmer Speaks for All People with Communication Difficulties Relating To His Top Gun: Maverick Performance

The makers of the smash hit Top Gun sequel faced a challenge familiar to speech therapists: how to help someone find their voice again after an illness or injury. In the case of this much anticipated Hollywood sequel, there was a hard truth. One of the lead characters – played by actor Val Kilmer – had lost his voice to throat cancer.

With the help of AI, the movie’s makers were able to help Kilmer in his supporting role. His voice was recreated with stunning normalcy so that he could practice his craft and trade again.

“A phrase we often hear is having a creative voice,” Kilmer said, sounding just like himself in the same AI voice deployed in the movie. “But I was struck by throat cancer. After getting treated, my voice as I know it was taken from me.”

He went on to say that people around him struggled to understand him when he was talking – even though he still felt like the same person. The loss of his voice created an identity problem.

Technology – from AI to Online – Helps People Find Their Voices

“Mr. Kilmer speaks for all people with communication disorders,” said Avivit Ben-Aharon MS Ed., MA CCC-SLP, founder & clinical director, Great Speech, the virtual speech therapy company. “His case is a poignant reminder of the importance of helping people communicate effectively. Speech is vital to a happy, functioning life.”

She added that speech therapy is at the heart of recovery for many patients, including those who have survived cancer and stroke.

“We have learned that valuable lesson with the thousands of patients who benefit from virtual speech therapy to resume normal, fulfilling lives, “said Ben-Aharon. “Fortunately, we can serve people through the simpler technology of computers and online support.”

In his online message, Kilmer speaks for 46 million Americans who experience a speech disorder – more than who suffer from diabetes.

“Despite all that (his illness and loss of voice), I still feel I’m the exact same person,” Kilmer said. “Still the same creative soul…But now I can express myself again. I can bring these dreams to you and show you this part of myself once more.”

Proven Outcomes through Great Speech Virtual Speech Therapy

Great Speech is a pioneer in virtual speech therapy. The company was founded in 2014 and offers a virtual model by design. In other words, it was not forced into remote work by the pandemic. Great Speech shows better improvement over shorter periods of time. The program:

  • Provides better quality of life & healthcare outcomes
  • Reduces stress, frustration & anxiety
  • Increases confidence
  • Improves social skills and relationships
  • As it relates to employment:
    • Is easier to acquire and maintain employment
    • Minimizes workplace harassment
    • Reduces discriminatory practices
  • Increases academic success
  • Remediates learning disability
  • Improves reading comprehension

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