Top Gun: Maverick's Jerry Bruckheimer Shares How Tom Cruise Stays In Such Incredible Shape: ‘Tom Does Everything At Full Speed All The Time'

Out of all the upcoming Tom Cruise movies currently on the tarmac, Top Gun: Maverick could be the most anticipated. Almost 40 years after Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell first felt the need for speed, the legendary aviator is returning to train a new series of recruits for modern warfare in the Danger Zone. Anyone who knows Cruise personally knows that this description could fit the actor behind the role, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer has confirmed yet again that it’s this energy that keeps his star in such incredible shape even at 59 -- and, yes, even for shirtless beach scenes

While speaking at the Top Gun: Maverick luncheon at this year’s CinemaCon, the legacy-quel had its fair share of stories to be told. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer spoke to Cruise’s insistence that Val Kilmer be in the sequel, showing the man’s dedication on a personal level. As CinemaBlend was in attendance of that event, Bruckheimer even shared tales of Tom Cruise’s work at staying fit for the grueling road ahead; starting with the following praise: 

Tom does everything at full speed all the time. To the best of his ability and beyond. You can’t stop him. He’s just going to do it no matter what. But what’s so interesting about him is, everything he’s done with real caution because he’s so prepared. He’ll spend months preparing for stuff that will maybe be on the screen for 30 seconds.

You can see why Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski is so proud of the shirtless football scene in his new movie. With Tom Cruise committing to putting his best body forward, and his co-stars naturally following his lead, it’s another perfect reward that pays off the hard work that poured into this very practical blockbuster. Gone are the days where stock footage and cockpit simulators could do the job, as this Top Gun has pushed itself to go above and beyond the Tony Scott predecessor. 

Tom Cruise has always seemed to be in amazing shape, with some random exceptions where a role like Tropic Thunder’s Les Grossman calls for some added, fatsuit-enhanced weight. Other than that, the stories that co-star Miles Teller has told about the intense Top Gun: Maverick training program fit with this reinforcing story about how Cruise goes for it, in life and in work. Jerry Bruckheimer continued to reveal just what goes into such a process, with these very special dietary restrictions in play: 

He’s in such great shape. And that’s already cooked in. He gets up at 4, 4:30 in the morning and works out. He’s on a great special diet… if he was here for a dinner or lunch one day, he’d have already eaten. It’s just who he is. He makes sure he gets enough rest. He really takes care of himself. And when you see him on the screen, it shows.

Whether it’s working hard or playing hard, there’s no denying that Tom Cruise is the need for speed personified. Even co-star and fellow CinemaCon speaker Glen Powell had stories of Cruise’s “go go go” attitude that backed Jerry Bruckheimer’s anecdotes above. Reputations like this don’t come easy, but when you put in the work as Tom Cruise does, the stories are an easy example of just what peak performance looks like. 

If you’re satisfied with fulfilling your hunger for heroic antics of stunt-packed excitement, Top Gun: Maverick hits theaters next week, through fan screenings and early showings that lead up to its wide debut on May 27th. The schedule of 2022 movie releases is also on deck to help figure out which movies you should keep in mind throughout the year, so don’t forget to take a peek into the future. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.