Tom Cruise Couldn’t Stop Grinning During Aerial Stunts for Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise is back to promoting Top Gun: Maverick, talking about the aerial stunts in real U.S. Navy fighter jets 1 photo
Photo: YouTube / The Graham Norton Show
Just yesterday, Paramount Pictures announced that, despite initial optimistic scheduling, it would be skipping the blockbuster summer. Top Gun: Maverick, the long awaited and highly anticipated sequel to the 1986 movie, has been pushed back to November 2021.
Initially scheduled to drop in June 2020, Maverick has suffered the same fate as most Hollywood tentpole releases. The film has been completed a long time ago, and for the second time in as many years, Tom Cruise is back to promoting it.

Before Paramount confirmed the fresh delay, Cruise sat down for an interview for The Graham Norton Show, soon to air on the BBC iPlayer. Joined by co-star Jennifer Connelly, he talked about the movie and what it was like to work on the upcoming two Mission: Impossible films during restrictions. As expected, the topic of doing all his own stunts came up, ET Canada reports.

Cruise told Graham that he was “a very physical actor” (hello, Captain Obvious!) and spoke about how exhilarating this was. “I study and train and take a lot of time figuring it all out,” he said. “I have broken a lot of bones. “The first time of any stunt is nerve-racking but it also exhilarating. I have been told a few times during shooting a stunt to stop smiling.”

For Maverick, Cruise learned to fly a real Super Hornet fighter jet, an accomplishment that’s already gotten plenty of media attention. Most of the film was shot on location at a military base, with the U.S. Navy reserving the right to veto the footage before it went to editing.

While Cruise is always up for the challenge of doing his own stunts, not the same can be said about his Maverick co-star Connelly. In fact, she says in the same interview, she would have probably passed on the project if she’d known she would be required to actually fly.

“When I signed on for the movie there was no flying for my character,” she explains. “I then found myself taxiing on a runway in a tiny plane with Tom and he said, ‘Have you been on a plane like this before? Have you ever done any aerobatic flying before?’ I started to get very nervous when he said, ‘It will be very graceful and very elegant,’ and that’s how I found out I would be up in the P51 with Tom flying it!”

It wasn’t just Connelly that had to learn to fly a fighter jet for the movie. According to producers, Tom had every member of the principal cast undergo the same kind of training he did, so they would film in flight, as opposed to on a closed stage, against a green backdrop.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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