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.