Tom Cruise had just come off making the film Legend when he turned up for his Top Gun meeting: the meeting went well.

Ahead of the release of Top Gun: Maverick – a film now put back until the end of the year – legendary producer Jerry Bruckheimer has been reminiscing about how he managed to get Tom Cruise into the cockpit in the original Top Gun, all the way back in 1986. Speaking on the film’s 35th anniversary, Bruckheimer recalled looking at Cruise for the role and well, what followed was a typically Tom Cruise affair. 

Remembers Bruckheimer “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. 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.”

Cruise doing crazy stunts is pretty much par for the course these days but it still makes for another fun story for the Tom Cruise collection. Top Gun: Maverick is currently set for release on November 19th in the UK.


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