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Watch Tom Cruise Terrify James Corden By Making Him Try Several Top Gun-Inspired Stunts

James Corden in a fighter jet
(Image credit: CBS)

Tom Cruise is a huge movie star but today Cruise is known just as much for his desire to be involved in practical stunt work as he is for the movies those stunts are in. You can count on Tom Cruise to do whatever it takes, which is why we love those movies. Because the rest of us would likely never do such things. Unless you’re late night host James Corden, and you end up in jets because Tom Cruise says so.

On the eve of the long awaited release of Top Gun: Maverick Tom Cruise appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden and took the host on a weekend getaway of sorts. Having jumped out of an airplane with the actor already, Corden was at first perhaps glad to know they’d be staying inside the airplane this time. However, Cruise flew Corden in a pair of fighter jets, pulling off moves that might make you a bit queasy. 

The experience looks equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. Tom Cruise and James Corden got up in the air in actual fighter jets, or to be more accurate, one fighter jet, and one fighter plane, as the first one they flew in was a WWII-era fighter. That one actually looks pretty cool, and if you’re a student of history it would actually be pretty awesome to be able to go up in a plane like that.

Of course, that plane is really just a warm-up for James Corden before he goes up in a much more modern fighter jet. Cruise and Corden go through some additional Top Gun training in the form of “classes: and, of course, volleyball, because I believe there’s a federal statute that says you’re not allowed to reference Top Gun in film or television unless there’s a volleyball scene involved. 

I’m sure that things were kept fairly tame for James Corden, assuming he didn’t have more training than we see here. The actual cast of Top Gun: Maverick went through a lot to be ready to shoot the movie. Though doing loops and flying upside down is probably still pretty wild for anybody who has never done it before. For some it would be exciting, for others terrifying, and for most of us probably a little of both. By the end of it all James Corden looks exhausted but also very thankful to have done it. Considering Corden has announced he’ll be leaving the Late Late Show, this will likely be one of his last chances to do something like this. 

For most of us the closest we will get to being in actual fighter jets will be watching Top Gun: Maverick when it arrives on screens this week. For many of us that’s close enough, thank you very much.  

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.