Top Gun producer explains how he convinced Tom Cruise to play Maverick

·2-min read

Top Gun is one of the quintessential 1980s movies, and one of the films that cemented Tom Cruise's reputation among the top tier of Hollywood actors.

But he was initially hesitant to commit to the film, being at that stage in his career where he really needed to think about his choices in order to cement his A-list status.

Jerry Bruckheimer, the film's producer, has been speaking to Variety about the film for its 35th anniversary, and has revealed the very '80s and over-the-top way he convinced the actor to get on the highway to the danger zone.

Photo credit: Paramount
Photo credit: Paramount

Related: Top Gun: Maverick trailer, cast, release date and everything you need to know

"It wasn't easy," the filmmaker said. "We wanted Tom after we saw Risky Business and he kind of hemmed and hawed. So we arranged for him to fly with the Blue Angels at the Naval Air Facility in El Centro, California.

"He drove up there on his motorcycle and he had just finished a movie with Ridley Scott, Legend, and his hair was long and in a ponytail. And they took one look at him and thought, 'we’re going to give this hippie a ride'.

"They took him up on an F-14 and flipped him and did all kinds of stunts to turn him around and make sure he never got back in a cockpit. But it was just the opposite.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Related: Top Gun: Maverick star recalls disgusting on-set experience

"He landed and he walked over to a phone booth and called me up and said, 'Jerry. I'm making the movie. I love it.' He became an amazing aviator himself. He can fly just about any plane they can make."

Bruckheimer also talked about how the navy wasn't on board with the film until he met with its secretary, and studio Paramount wasn't overly enthusiastic at first either.

Obviously the film ended up being huge, and navy enlistment went up 500%, so they are totally behind the long-awaited sequel and have been "more helpful", according to Bruckheimer.

Top Gun: Maverick will now arrive in cinemas on November 19, 2021.

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