Tom Cruise’s Pal And F1 Superstar Talked His Way Into Top Gun: Maverick, Then Had To Make ‘The Most Upsetting’ Phone Call Of His Life

Lewis Hamilton
(Image credit: CBS)

Looks like famed British race car driver, Lewis Hamilton, is one of many athletes looking to venture into movies. Sadly, Top Gun: Maverick wouldn't be his big break, but it almost was. In a new interview with Vanity Fair, F1 star Lewis Hamilton talked about his love for the original Top Gun film, and how he almost appeared in the summer blockbuster hit, Top Gun: Maverick, which is still currently breaking box office records.

The F1 driver reveals his friendship with Tom Cruise was instrumental in being offered a role in the film, and could not say enough good things about the actor. Lewis Hamilton says of the popular action star:

One of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. He invited me to his set years ago when he was doing Edge of Tomorrow, and then we just built a friendship over time… So when I heard the second one was coming out, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I have to ask him.’ I said, ‘I don’t care what role it is. I’ll even sweep something, be a cleaner in the back.’

Sweeping in the corner was not to be, as Tom Cruise had bigger plans for the F1 star. He actually offered Lewis Hamilton a role in the film as one of the fighter pilots-- what would have been a dream role for Hamilton. Unfortunately, the star's commitments to the Formula 1 season conflicted with the Top Gun: Maverick production schedule. The driver knew he could not in good conscience abandon his Formula 1 season to shoot a film in which he would be unprepared, so he had to back out of the role... and he had to be the one to inform the Top Gun crew about it. 

I’m a perfectionist… The most upsetting call that I think I’ve ever had.

This is a massive disappointment for not only Lewis Hamilton, but also Top Gun: Maverick fans who would’ve loved to see the race car driver in command of a different super-powered machine: a fighter jet. 

Thankfully this is not the end of the athlete's Hollywood ventures. He will be acting as a producer on a Formula One racing movie directed by Top Gun: Maverick director, Joseph Kosinski. The movie will be made for AppleTV+ and Brad Pitt is set is to star.

I’m sure there will be plenty of more opportunities for Lewis Hamilton to act as well, when he’s not lending his talents to Formula One racing and winning more World Drivers’ Championships. He's already done voice acting work for Pixar’s Cars movies, as well as landed a cameo in Zoolander 2, so we know he’s got the chops. 

It’s a shame Top Gun: Maverick will not feature the famed Formula One star this time around, but you can still catch the film in theaters now. Also, check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 movie schedule for more release dates of other films in theaters and streaming this year.

Caroline Young

Writer, podcaster, CinemaBlend contributor, film and television nerd, enthusiastic person. Hoping to bring undying passion for storytelling to CinemaBlend.