On Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise helped train new actors for the franchise on what it takes to fly an airplane

HOLLYWOOD — It’s a hopeful sign for the upcoming summer film season. Paramount’s “Top Gun: Maverick” achieved its best Memorial Day premiere ever with projected three-day domestic earnings of more than $126 million.

In the film, Tom Cruise returns to his iconic character as the high-profile Navy pilot “Maverick.” This time, he’s brought back to tutor a new group of “top marksmen” who have been recruited for an important, top-secret mission. Life emulated art… with the Cruise-led production taking the younger actors on actual military flights so they could experience what actually happens in this high-octane world of Navy pilots.

Cruise’s younger co-stars all appreciated what the veteran actor offered to tutor. “It’s all new. This is all very, very new,” said Jay Ellis.

“I thought it would be impossible. I thought there’s no way I could do that!” said Lewis Pullman. “But there’s no way I’m going to admit that I can’t. So I’ll do my best. And luckily for us, Tom has given us an incredible training program that has enabled us to do something like this we all think is impossible.”

“It was very, very challenging. But you knew while you’re airborne it’s tough and when you land I have this great support system and my classmates and Tom and the Navy pilots,” said Greg Tarzan Davis. “They just say, okay, we can get through this and we’ll make this great movie and you just keep going, you know, there’s no going back.”

“We got together through this thing like, really just us, no one else in the world knew what we were going through, how we were doing it together,” said Monica Barbaro. “So at the end of a really tough day, we had that.”

Actor Glen Powell joked about Tom Cruise’s abilities on set.

“Just to be clear, my mom doesn’t want me to be Tom Cruise. Because the way he raises the bar and cheats death at every turn,” Powell said. “You know, I started riding motorcycles. I started jumping out of airplanes. We went skydiving, now I have my pilot’s license. I think I think my mum says okay let’s just chill.”

Not all actors were invited to high-flying “G-force Top Gun” training. And some would question whether the experience was a “must do” or a “must do.”

“Definitely a little jealousy. Because of the experience, they had to have the graduated plane, they had to experience experiencing G-forces and things like it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do something like that. But at the same time, it was nice just to be there,” said Charles Parnell.

“And you’re looking at the three smartest people in the film because we didn’t have to do any of that stuff. It was the best we got, we got to watch it and not throw up!” said Jon Hamm.

By the end of the long Memorial Day weekend, Top Gun: Maverick is expected to gross more than $160 million… which could break a four-day record. Stay tuned.

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https://abc7.com/top-gun-maverick-tom-cruise-training-airplane/11910216/ On Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise helped train new actors for the franchise on what it takes to fly an airplane

Laura Coffey

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