Tom Cruise has been a Hollywood heavyweight for close to four decades now, ranging from early work like The Outsiders and The Color of Money to his continuing run as Ethan Hunt in the Mission: Impossible movies. For the past several months, Cruise has been impressing on the big screen through his reprisal of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick, a movie the actor basically greenlit just by calling Paramount Pictures and telling the studio he was doing it. Outside of Val Kilmer’s return as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, Maverick’s cast was comprised of new faces, and I had the pleasure of learning from three of the actors about their favorite memories of working with the icon on the sequel.
Top Gun: Maverick headed to Digital platforms recently, and to celebrate, I spoke with Charles Parnell, who plays RADM Solomon "Warlock" Bates, the commander of the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center and someone who goes way back with Pete Mitchell. Parnell chose to recall the first time he met Tom Cruise, starting off with the following:
I can only imagine how surprised Charles Parnell was to learn that not only was Tom Cruise showing up to the Top Gun: Maverick set on a day he wasn’t expected to come in, but he also wasn’t just popping in for a quick visit; he came to act out his scene. Parnell then described his first interaction with Cruise actually went down, as well as praised his co-star for how he brightened up the cast and crew’s days. In Parnell’s words:
Next up is Danny Ramirez, who played LT Mickey "Fanboy" Garcia, the WSO to Jay Ellis’ LT Reuben "Payback" Fitch. For his favorite Tom Cruise memory, Ramirez also chose an early interaction with the actor who was reportedly paid $12.5 million for this movie, along with whatever comes from the backend portion of his deal. However, this moment also doubled as a way to remind Ramirez that Cruise is human just like the rest of us, and one who rooted for the success of everyone on the Paramount production. As Ramirez explained:
Finally, we have Greg “Tarzan” Davis, who played LT Javy "Coyote" Machado, and like Danny Ramirez, went through some insane flight training for Top Gun: Maverick. Davis fondly recalled listening to Tom Cruise talk about his experiences with the veteran actors from when he was starting out in the business. Here’s how Davis put it:
Among the other actors who spent time with Tom Cruise on Top Gun: Maverick were Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, Glen Powell, Monica Barbaro (who especially impressed the movie’s aerial team), Lewis Pullman, Bashir Salahuddin and Manny Jacinto. Joseph Kosinski, who previously worked with Cruise on Oblivion, directed the feature, and Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie, the latter of whom has been collaborating with Cruise on the Mission: Impossible film series for many years now, all worked on the script. In addition to Maverick being met with critical acclaim, it’s still the only 2022 movie release that’s crossed $1 billion worldwide.
Along with its digital release, Top Gun: Maverick is still playing in theaters, and it comes out on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on November 1. It hasn’t been announced yet when the sequel will become available to stream with a Paramount+ subscription, but we'll pass along that information when it arrives.
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Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.