Bill Pullman’s Son Is In Top Gun: Maverick, Revealed The Independence Day-Related Advice His Dad Gave Him

Lewis Pullman's Bob flying in fighter plane in Top Gun: Maverick
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

The events of Top Gun: Maverick see Tom Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell training a group of young pilots for a dangerous mission. One of those pilots is the quiet, but extremely capable Lieutenant Robert “Bob” Floyd, played by Lewis Pullman, the son of Bill Pullman, who got some time in the cockpit playing President Thomas Whitmore in Independence Day (a title he’s partly responsible for). In fact, the elder Pullman gave his son some advice related to the 1996 sci-fi action movie upon learning Lewis would appear in Maverick.

It’s been a long wait for Top Gun: Maverick as the movie was once set to come out in summer 2019, but due to a variety of factors (including the COVID-19 pandemic), it wasn’t widely released until May 27. But now the public is able to take in the sequel that arrived 36 years after its predecessor, although when Lewis Pullman, star of the upcoming Salem’s Lot remake, spoke with THR, his father wasn’t one of those people yet. In the Maverick star’s words:

He hasn’t seen it yet, but I cannot wait for him to see it. He’s working on a play right now, doing rehearsals. I always run everything by him before I start a job, and he always delivers me gold. He used green screen in Independence Day, but he gave good movement advice, to really convey the physicality of what’s going on. Mainly, he offered to make sure this character felt real and grounded and to absorb everything from the real Top Gun pilots, so I could do justice to what they do.

In case you didn’t follow along with Top Gun: Maverick’s development, Lewis Pullman and the other actors who played pilots in the movie learned how to actually fly fighter planes with Tom Cruise. That’s quite a step up from simulating flying a plane with a green screen behind you, but presumably at the time, Lewis Pullman informed Bill Pullman he’d be in Maverick, he hadn’t started flight training yet. So his movement advice was likely quite welcome, as were his words about paying attention to the Top Gun pilots and making sure Bob felt real and grounded. Now we need to know when Bill Pullman (whose Independence Day character helped thwart alien invasions in that movie and 2016’s Resurgence) has seen Maverick so we can hear his thoughts about it.

While his callsign might not have been impressive as his fellow pilots’, Lewis Pullman’s Bob proved himself to be a skilled aviator as the WSO for Monica Barbaro’s Natasha “Phoenix” Trace in Top Gun: Maverick. Their fellow pilots, besides Tom Cruise’s Maverick as their instructor, included Miles Teller’s Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (the son of the late Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, Maverick’s RIO and best friend), Glen Powell’s Jake “Hangman” Seresin, Jay Ellis’ Reuben “Payback” Fitch and Danny Ramirez’s Mickey “Fanboy” Garcia. Maverick’s other cast members include Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, Charles Parnell and Val Kilmer. Tron: Legacy’s Joseph Kosinski directed the sequel, and Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie all worked on the script.

Two weeks into its theatrical run, Top Gun: Maverick sits as the fourth highest-grossing movie of 2022 so far, and among its box office accomplishments are snagging the highest opening Memorial Day weekend and becoming Tom Cruise’s highest-grossing movie domestically. Additionally, Maverick has been met with critical acclaim, including CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg giving it 4 out of 5 stars in his review. Anthony Edwards, who played Goose in the original Top Gun, expressed his approval for the sequel by telling Cruise, “Mission accomplished.”

There’s still plenty of time to check out Top Gun: Maverick in theaters, but Paramount+ subscribers will also be able to stream it later this year. If you’re wondering what movies are slotted for the rest of the year, scan through our 2022 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.