Top Gun: Maverick star Lewis Pullman details the intense fighter jet training course that Tom Cruise designed for the cast of the new sequel.
Top Gun: Maverick star Lewis Pullman details the intense flight training that Tom Cruise organized for the cast. Coming more than 35 years after the original film, Top Gun: Maverick soared into theaters this past weekend, marking the biggest box office opening of Cruise’s career. The film, which is directed by Joseph Kosinski, sees Pete “Maverick” Mitchell training a new batch of Top Gun fighter pilots for a dangerous mission in enemy territory.
Top Gun: Maverick has been a hit with both audiences and critics, with many praising Cruise’s performance, the intense aerial combat sequences, and the many newcomers to the cast. In addition to Jennifer Connelly’s role as Penny, Maverick’s new love interest, the Top Gun sequel sees the arrival of Miles Teller as Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, Glen Powell as Lt. Jake “Hangman” Seresin, Jon Hamm as Admiral Simpson, Monica Barbaro as Lt. Natasha “Phoenix” Trace, Jay Ellis as Lt. Reuben “Payback” Fitch, and Pullman as Lt. Robert “Bob” Floyd. Most of the new actors took part in what has been dubbed “Tom Cruise Boot Camp,” a training course designed to prepare them for filming in real fighter jets.
In a new interview with THR, Pullman details the intense experience of going through Cruise’s training regimen, revealing the star and producer’s commitment to getting the best performances possible from the cast. Pullman explains that Cruise gave the actors a “gradual on-ramp” before eventually having them work their way up to taking part in aerial maneuvers that would generate 8.5 g’s. Check out Pullman’s full comment about Cruise’s training course below:
“Tom was so darn generous with his time and with his energy. And you know, he set up the entire training regiment for us himself. He designed it in a way that really crept up on us. In the beginning, it was like this is a summit that I don’t know if I could reach. It’s just crazy. But he gave us a very gradual on-ramp, so by the time we were actually pulling 8.5 g’s — it was there before we knew it. He understood the assignment and what we were going to need in order to be confident and give good performances up in these [F/A-18 Super Hornets] while actually pulling g’s and doing these serious aerobatic maneuvers.”
While none of the actors were ever actually operating the aircraft controls, Cruise was clearly committed to capturing as much real cockpit footage as possible, with Pullman and the other actors taking part in dozens of flights with experienced pilots. As with his other major franchise, Mission: Impossible, Cruise maintains that filming action as practically as possible makes for the best audience experience, something that evidently is part of the reason for Top Gun: Maverick‘s success. Pullman’s comment also reveals that, despite his love for practical action, Cruise is also committed to ensuring all of the stunts in his movies are as safe as possible.
Cruise is, without a doubt, the biggest proponent of practical action filmmaking working today. The flight training course he designed for Top Gun: Maverick not only allows audiences to see what trained fighter pilots experience in the actual cockpit of an F/A-18 Super Hornet, but also ensures that the cast can give their best performances possible while still being safe. While it remains to be seen whether any of the Top Gun: Maverick cast will return for an additional sequel, it’s clear that both cast and crew – and especially Cruise – put everything they had into ensuring the film was as thrilling and realistic as possible.
More: Top Gun: Maverick New Cast & Returning Character Guide
- Top Gun: Maverick/Top Gun 2 (2022)Release date: May 27, 2022
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