Skip to main content

Tom Cruise Praises Lady Gaga, Says Singer Solved A Big Concern He Had About Top Gun: Maverick

Back in 1986, Berlin helped the original Top Gun to soar on the wings of the hit song “Take My Breath Away.” Thanks to the marriage of music and images, the hit song became synonymous with Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis … and no doubt boosted the sales of both Top Gun tickets and official soundtracks. So now that Tom Cruise is trying to return to the Top Gun universe 36 years later with Top Gun: Maverick, how does he reach the same heights, not disappoint a generation of Top Gun fans, and find music that matches the visuals being captured by filmmaker Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion, Only the Brave)? 

Tom Cruise admitted to CinemaBlend on the red carpet at the film’s world premiere that he was concerned about the emotional connections he knew that Top Gun: Maverick needed to make with an audience. He referred to the success of the original movie’s soundtrack, and gushed over Lady Gaga’s contributions to the new film through her beautiful track, “Hold My Hand.” Speaking about Gaga, Tom Cruise told us:

With every film, score is incredibly important, and in a Top Gun movie, it was like, ‘What is that?’ Everything was like, ‘How do you top it?’ And I was like, ‘I’m not going to try to top it. I just want to be authentic to the story we’re telling.’ And when Gaga came in with that song – you know, we had (composer) Lorne Balfe who produced it, and Hans Zimmer I’ve known since Rain Man. I brought him in on Rain Man and Days of Thunder. And Harold Faltermeyer, of course, I knew from the first Top Gun. So you have all of these elements, and then Gaga came in with this song… it became our score. It became the heartbeat of the film, what she did. And I called her and said, ‘I don’t think you understand, emotionally…’ I was so concerned, until I heard that piece. And I knew that that piece, what it does, how it married (to) our story emotionally. So that was a moment. That was a real moment for all of us.

Lady Gaga’s new song really is a heartfelt and emotional song that blends perfectly into the tone and sentiment of Top Gun: Maverick, a movie that catches up with the ace fighter pilot later in his career as he tries to figure out what else he can give back to the Navy. Maverick (Tom Cruise) remains a hotshot. But in the new film, he also has to play mentor to a team of cocky pilots, guide them through intense flight training sequences, and also put his life back on track. Here’s Lady Gaga’s song, which connected emotionally with Cruise.

It won’t be long now until you find out how Joseph Koskinski uses this track in the final movie. Top Gun: Maverick reaches theaters on May 27, and has received very positive reviews. The sequel has about a week to capture audiences’ attention before the dinosaurs of Jurassic World: Dominion stomp back into multiplexes. Keep track of the complete summer movie season by bookmarking our guide to 2022 movies, and checking it often.

Sean O'Connell
Sean O'Connell

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.