Since the start of filming Top Gun: Maverick, we are praised for the “superpowers” of its star actor. But there’s one thing he can’t do…
Is Tom Cruise an ageless, genderless, limitless hero?
First there was Jennifer Connelly, Oscar-winning actress, who explained how much her playmate imposed on film sets. And then there was Thandie Newton, who spoke at length about how Tom Cruise unsettled her on the set of Mission: Impossible 2. We can also mention the stars in the eyes of Miles Teller, with whom he shares the poster of Top Gun: Maverick. The young actor said a few months ago that Tom Cruise was “a machine”
As we know, the actor is a very serious workaholic in the way he immerses himself in each of his roles… Sometimes to the point of making other actors on set doubt, including the most experienced. Once the filming is over, however, everyone praises the qualities of the star and why they liked working with him. Sometimes it’s because the actor likes to do everything himself, including very risky stunts… There are a few that he unfortunately couldn’t do… Question of protocol.
How not to lose your means too?
Explanations are given in an article by Bloomberg, who interviewed Glen Roberts, the director of a very special service of the Pentagon: the Department of Defense’s entertainment media office… Understand the office in charge of making the intermediary between the army and Hollywood. Roberts delivered several crisp anecdotes on the set of maverick. Among them, the price of renting military planes ($11,374 per hour and per plane) or even the difference between the character of Maverick and the real soldiers of the Navy. “A character like that does not exist in naval aviation”, he justifies, “they’re more studious aviation geeks, spending hours and hours in class and training.”
The military official also explained at length how the cooperation with the stars of the films went… and it’s a bit surprising.
60 years old, still a virgin… piloting a fighter plane
Unlike his character, Tom Cruise could not maneuver F-18s (the planes with which the film was shot). And for good reason: the DOD, the US Department of the Armed Forces, prohibits civilians from using military equipment themselves, including Hollywood stars. Tom Cruise was therefore able to board these magnificent cars… without being able to touch the controls. That must have frustrated the superstar actor. The only obligation for the film crew: to learn how to eject from a military plane in the event of an accident, and training to survive at sea, if necessary. In order for “beginner” actors to learn to feel the vertigo of naval aviation, Cruise insisted that they practice on small Boeings.
“It’s more fun when you drive yourself”
Glen Roberts also gave many details about his cooperation with Hollywood. “A film does not have to be a love letter to the army [pour qu’on coopère]but it must uphold its integrity”, he explained, without further details. A film crew that would like to use military equipment must provide the institution with a detailed, “budgeted” project, as well as a detailed script. The institution can then suggest modifications to the framework: compliance is never compulsory, but in the event of refusal, the DOD reserves the right not to rent its equipment.
“We look but we don’t touch!”
This mode of cooperation between the military industry and the entertainment industry has often been decried. Certain films have regularly been criticized for being propaganda leaflets for the American army… Certain films, including Top Gun.
The sequel to the adventures of Maverick has been available in French theaters since Wednesday May 25, 2022 – and a day later across the Atlantic. The film delighted many critics with the actor’s performance and impressive flight scenes. It is already a hit at the box office, so much so that it could allow Tom Cruise to break a personal record, at almost 60 years old.