The Cast Of Top Gun: Maverick Had To Endure 'Tom Cruise Boot Camp'

Tom Cruise is known for doing most of his own stunts, no matter how stupidly dangerous they are. From hanging on the outside of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper to doing a HALO jump on camera to also hanging on the outside of a plane, the man has done it all for our entertainment.

Now comes "Top Gun: Maverick," a sequel to the 1986 blockbuster classic which famously did not put its cast in jets because, as producer Jerry Bruckheimer once put it, "they all threw up." When the film makes its premiere at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, it will give us another set of crazy Tom Cruise stunts, but things will be different this time — he won't be the only one doing them.

I feel the need... the need for speed!

In an interview with Total Film (via Games Radar) for the latest issue of the magazine, Cruise talked about making sure each and every want of his co-stars could actually shoot the film practically, inside the jets.

"I developed a whole program for the actors, and how we could get them in the [F/A-18s]," Cruise said. "It was every step of the way. I had to teach them how to fly. I had to teach them how to handle gs. I had to get them confident in the aeroplane."

This seems to be planned specifically to avoid a repeat of the 1986 stunts fiasco. Not that the film's stunts were bad, on the contrary, but Cruise says he initially signed on to do the film because he thought he'd actually be flying jet planes, "I wanted to give the audience that experience of what it's like being a fighter pilot, and what that world is like, and the culture of it," he told Total Film. 

Instead, the unprepared actors could not handle the fighter jets, and the footage was useless. According to Jerry Bruckheimer, "Their eyes were rolling back into their heads. They were throwing up," and since this is not the pie-eating contest scene from "Stand By Me," it wouldn't work on the final film. For "Top Gun: Maverick," Cruise and the producers are hoping to get a more realistic portrayal of flying stunts, whether the actors like it or not.

"We were all mini Toms making this movie," co-star Miles Teller, who plays Goose's son Rooster, said: 

"He put us through... I'll just call it a 'Tom Cruise boot camp'. We were getting in killer shape. And also for the stunts and stuff that Tom does in movies, it's usually a very specific type of training. You're not just going into the gym and lifting some weights. We did flight training for three months before we started filming... We got put through the wringer."

We'll find out if the Tom Cruise boot camp paid off when "Top Gun: Maverick" premieres on May 27, 2022.