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Lewis Hamilton Had to Turn Down Pilot Role in Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick

Even by celebrity standards, getting to call Tom Cruise your “close friend” is no small achievement. Lewis Hamilton not only can do that, but he can brag about nabbing a role in a Tom Cruise film just by asking.
Lewis Hamilton shows off his unique sense of fashion for Vanity Fair 9 photos
Lewis Hamilton shows off his unique sense of fashion for Vanity FairLewis Hamilton shows off his unique sense of fashion for Vanity FairLewis Hamilton shows off his unique sense of fashion for Vanity FairLewis Hamilton shows off his unique sense of fashion for Vanity FairLewis Hamilton shows off his unique sense of fashion for Vanity FairLewis Hamilton shows off his unique sense of fashion for Vanity FairLewis Hamilton shows off his unique sense of fashion for Vanity FairLewis Hamilton shows off his unique sense of fashion for Vanity Fair
The Formula One champion is the cover star of the latest Vanity Fair issue, and in the accompanying interview, he opens up on a variety of topics, including his career in the sport, racism in Formula One and his personal life, activism, social media, fashion and, last but not least, his forays into film and music. This is for context for how the Tom Cruise comment – and a near Top Gun: Maverick cameo – came about.

Hamilton confirms his involvement in the upcoming Formula One Apple movie that will star Brad Pitt, saying his work will mostly be behind the scenes. He won’t be sharing the screen with Pitt, he says, but providing consultancy work, for which he gets a producer credit. The one movie that almost put him in front of the camera was Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel to the 1986 hit movie that turned Tom Cruise into the ultimate action movie star he still is today.

Hamilton recalls hearing about the sequel being made and how excited he became at the thought of getting a part in it. He met Cruise on the set of Edge of Tomorrow, and they became friends: Hamilton describes him as “one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.” He didn’t hesitate to ask Cruise for a favor in getting him a part in Maverick.

“I said, ‘I don’t care what role it is. I’ll even sweep something, be a cleaner in the back," he tells Vanity Fair. He didn’t have to settle for such a small cameo because Cruise got him the part of a pilot in the film. Then, just as he was celebrating the new gig, Hamilton realized scheduling would be an issue since production took place at the height of the Formula One season. He simply didn’t have the time to do both, including the intense training for both.

“I’m a perfectionist,” he explains. Hamilton called Cruise and director Joseph Kosinski to tell them he was backing out. It was “the most upsetting call that I think I’ve ever had,” he says.

As of the moment of press, Top Gun: Maverick has surpassed Titanic to become the seventh highest-grossing domestic release of all time. Double bummer. 



 
 
 
 
 

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