Tom Cruise Gave Top Gun: Maverick’s Glen Powell A Meaningful Piece Of Advice That Convinced Him To Take The Fighter Pilot Role He Nearly Passed On

Tom Cruise has defined what it means to be a movie star for more than three decades. Getting a nugget of advice from Cruise would be a great moment for any up-and-coming actor, and Top Gun: Maverick’s Glen Powell can count himself among that group. After being in the running and losing the role of Rooster, Powell opened up about the meaningful piece of advice the Top Gun star gave him to take the fighter pilot role he nearly passed on.

Glen Powell gave the deets about Tom Cruise’s ways of persuasion while at CinemaCon. Along with presenting the high-flying sequel, Powell received the Male Star of Tomorrow award at the event for his breakout role as resident bad boy Lt. Jake "Hangman" Seresin. But the moment almost didn’t happen after Miles Teller was chosen to play “Rooster” Bradshaw. Despite losing the role, Cruise saw something in the Hidden Figures star and insisted he join the movie. Powell opened up about how the megastar convinced him to take the part as follows:

I originally auditioned for the role of Rooster, which went to Miles Teller, who smoked it. And when you actually see this movie, you realize that was perfect casting. At the time, it was a little bit of an ego blow, which is right for Top Gun. I’ll say that it really is a testament to Jerry, Joe, and Tom, how they would get me on the hook for this. Because I wasn’t sure I was gonna do it, and then they showed me [that] aerial footage, the test footage, and then I got to sit in a room with Tom for a couple of hours.

Sitting in a movie theater watching aerial footage with the Mission: Impossible star would impress any young star. In Glen Powell’s case, he, like millions of young boys, grew up admiring Tom Cruise and his astronomical film success. He wanted the same career trajectory as the box office star. The Everybody Wants Some!! actor thought he was on the path until the actor/producer convinced him to become Hangman with a reality check:

I felt pretty confident about how I chose movies and what I want to do and then Tom basically blew my mind with how he has created his career. … He said, ‘What kind of career do you want, Glen?’ I was like, ‘You, man, I want to be you.’ And then he said, ‘How do you think I got here?’ And I was like, ‘You choose good roles.’ He said, ‘No, Glen, I choose great MOVIES and then I make the ROLES great.’ It’s true… Joe [Kosinski] just saw my mind melt and I was like, ‘Dammit, this guy’s good.’ I had to kind of take a leap of faith on what the Hangman role would be and I gotta say these guys lived up to every promise that they promised.

That’s the power of Tom Cruise. He could convince any actor to take on a project, especially if they’re on the fence. Thankfully, Glen Powell took the Top Gun: Maverick role and changed his career with a true blockbuster. Being on the set with Cruise was infectious for the actor with his go-go-go attitude. Of course, he had to change his call name over some Air Force and Navy error, but overall, he was invested after taking on the bad boy role.

Now, the Maverick star has another high-flying film among 2022's releases with Devotion, alongside Jonathan Majors. In the meantime, you can check out Glen Powell's Top Gun: Maverick performance in theaters.

Adreon Patterson
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A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).