Over 30 years after the iconic ‘80s movie hit theatres, Top Gun 2 took the box office by storm. Top Gun cast members Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer reprised their roles as Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell and Lieutenant Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky, respectively, as a new class of Top Gun fighters prepared for their most dangerous mission yet.
The action movie introduced a host of new characters, including Miles Teller as Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw — the son of Goose — Glen Powell as Jake ‘Hangman’ Seresin, and Jennifer Connelley as Penny Benjamin amongst others.
One of the most stand-out characters from the thriller movie was Vice Admiral Beau Simpson, otherwise known by his call sign ‘Cyclone’. The character, played by Jon Hamm, is the US Navy’s Air Boss who reluctantly puts Maverick in charge of training the latest Top Gun class. Looking back, it’s impossible to imagine anyone apart from Jon Hamm for the role — and as it turns out, he had a lot riding on it too.
Hamm, who is known for his role on the TV series Mad Men, opened up about the casting process in an appearance on the Howard Stern Show. “I’m driving down the road and my phone rings,” he recalled. “It’s my agent, and he goes, ‘Hey, they’re coming at you for – they want you to do a part in the Top Gun sequel.’ And I was like, ‘Well, then the answer is yes.’ Are you crazy? Yes. ‘Well, we don’t know. The money, and this and that.’ And I was like, ‘No, no, no, no, no. The answer is yes. You work out the details, but the answer is yes. If this goes away, you’re all fired.'”
He continued, “There’s no version of… if they’ve asked me to be in this, which by the way was still kind of a new thing for me, of being asked to be part of something, not only that is so front and center in the cultural everything, but to me was one of my favorite movies of all time. So to get to actually flash back to being, at that point, 13 or 14 years old (in) 1985, and to be asked to be part of the next chapter of this? And then to basically have all of my scenes be with Tom Cruise?! This is a no-brainer. The answer is yes. I’m sure it will be a big hit. And it was.”
As it turns out, Hamm’s instinct was right: Top Gun 2 broke one billion USD at the global box office. To see some of Maverick’s other hits, check out our guide to the best Tom Cruise movies.