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There Was Lots Of Vomiting On The Top Gun Set. How Tom Cruise ‘Encouraged’ The Young Cast To Work Through It For Those Fighter Plane Scenes

It would have been easy enough for Top Gun: Maverick to simulate the actors playing the pilots flying through the sky with green screen and digital effects. However, the Maverick production went the extra mile by having these actors go through insane flight training so that they’d be used to high g-forces and acrobatic plane movement. when actually up in the air. The downside to taking part in such a spectacle was there was a lot of vomiting on the Maverick set, but Tom Cruise provided some encouragement for his younger co-stars on how to work through this messiness.

At Top Gun: Maverick’s world premiere, Miles Teller, who plays Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, talked with CinemaBlend about even though he and his costars weren’t actually flying these fighter planes, the hours of training they’d put in beforehand helped out a lot with them being able to look comfortable in a cockpit while the cameras were rolling. As for the subject of the actors losing their lunch, here’s what Monica Barbaro, who plays Natasha “Phoenix” Trace, had to say to The New York Times about Tom Cruise’s advice:

Tom just really encouraged everybody, if you are going to throw up, just learn how to do it and move past. We would applaud when anyone threw up, so it became celebrated.

To be clear, due to military regulations, Monica Barbaro and her Top Gun: Maverick castmates were not allowed to pilot the F/A-18 Super Hornets and F-35s that were borrowed for $11,374 an hour. It was U.S. Navy pilots who were at the actual controls, but these actors were in the cockpit experiencing the same movements, speeds, etc. While out traversing the skies, Glen Powell, who plays Jake “Hangman” Seresin, brandished a barf bag while gliding upside down and even flashed a thumbs up. Monica Barbaro was able to keep her lunch down, but that actually proved problematic. Upon looking at Barbaro’s first dailies, the actress’ face looked so calm that it seemed as though the clouds behind her were created through green screen, so she had to go back up to perform another take.

Of course, Tom Cruise had a lot more experience with flying going into Top Gun: Maverick since he’d gone through training on the original Top Gun. So when the time came to make Maverick, Cruise was not only committed to depicting realistic on-camera flight like in the 1986 movie, but he wanted to ensure the other actors were properly prepared. So going through Cruise’s “boot camp” was beneficial, and while there was still the issue of vomiting to deal with, Cruise and the rest of the cast put a positive spin on it.

This extra effort paid off in making Top Gun: Maverick stand out amongst the other 2022 movies. This sequel, which follows Tom Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell training a group of young TOPGUN graduates for a dangerous mission, has been met with critical acclaim, including CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg giving it 4 out of 5 stars in his review. Maverick is also the most commercially successful of 2022 so far, having crossed the $1 billion mark.

CinemaBlend will keep passing along any other interesting news items concerning Top Gun: Maverick, as well as share if Top Gun 3 ends up getting off the ground. For those interested in watching the sequel at home, it’ll be available for Paramount+ subscribers to stream sometime later this year.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

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