We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Tom Cruise is most like his Top Gun character, says director

Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski says that Maverick is close to Tom Cruise's real personality, especially when it comes to mentorship.

Tom Cruise in Top Gun Maverick

Director Joseph Kosinski has been reflecting on making the highest grossing movie of 2022 – Top Gun: Maverick – and what makes Tom Cruise so unique. Top Gun coming back after over 35 years was not a guaranteed success, especially after its release got pushed hugely by the pandemic. However – holding out for theatrical was a gamble that absolutely paid off.

Speaking of what makes Cruise special, Kosinski says; “Of all the characters he’s played, I think Maverick might be kind of the closest to his real personality. He’s always pushing the envelope. The young actors were so curious to just pick his brain. Here’s a guy who has the career that they all dream about and he’s willing to talk about how he got there.”

“Glen [Powell] read for the part of Rooster and didn’t get it; Miles Teller did. He didn’t want the part of Hangman; he wanted the lead. Then Tom explained to him that as a young actor, you have to choose great movies, not great roles. It totally changed Glen’s approach.”

Kosinski continues; “Everyone knows he [Cruise] gives 110% every day. But the amount of work it takes to make movies like this requires a level of commitment that’s pretty astonishing. He just never gives up.”

Regarding how earnest the film is, Kosinski says; “There’s not a lot of sarcasm. It wears its heart on its sleeve. It’s OK to show some genuine emotion. Men crying in the movie is a good thing. We approached it in a very honest, straightforward way. What Tom does dramatically in a film that also requires such incredible action skills – you just can’t take that for granted. I can’t think of anyone else who would be able to do both things and produce the film.”

We’ll now have to wait and see if Top Gun: Maverick, and Cruise himself, are Oscar-nominated in 2023. In the meantime, check out our guide to best action movies.