This Top Gun: Maverick Moment Was An Out Of Body Experience For Glen Powell

"Top Gun: Maverick" is poised to be one of the year's biggest movies, and not just because of its real-life airplane stunts or IMAX cameras. The legacy sequel to 1986's "Top Gun" has an ensemble cast playing aspiring elite fighters, spearheaded by the titular Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Tom Cruise).

Among the students Mitchell will be training throughout the movie is Jake "Hangman" Seresin, played by "Hidden Figures" actor Glen Powell. Despite his lengthy resume, he currently isn't a household name, although that could change upon the release of "Maverick." After all, he and many of his co-stars underwent rigorous pilot training to do the death-defying stunts in real life. I mean, not many actors can say the same.

However, the most surreal moment of Powell's time on the set, surprisingly, was not any of the stunts. In an interview with DuJour, he explained that meeting one of his idols was a real out-of-body experience.

The best pilot in the Navy

Hangman gives himself that call sign in the movie, and that might be put to the test when he's training with Mitchell. However, the actor channeled his character's confidence while filming, thanks to his and the cast's intense equipment during training.

"We had to learn how to fly F-18 airplanes," he explained. "I was doing so much prep on this film, so when Day 1 came, Hangman was ready to go."

While anyone else might find the prospect of flying just like a Navy Fighter anxiety-inducing, Powell made it sound like a cake-walk. However, standing next to Tom Cruise in a scene seemed to be an entirely different feeling altogether for the actor. He explained:

"There is a moment when you're on set standing next to Tom Cruise next to a F-18 jet wearing aviators where you think, 'this is as good as it gets.' It was such an out-of-body experience."

Flying high

Sure, everyone would probably be star-struck if they saw Cruise in public. However, the feeling was more important to Powell than one might expect. He told DuJour that watching "Top Gun" with his father was among his favorite childhood memories, comparing it to playing a game of catch. He also attributes the original movie to his current career path.

​​"Tom Cruise is one of the reasons I wanted to get into acting," Powell said. "So many pilots became pilots because of 'Top Gun,' and so many actors became actors because of Tom Cruise in this film."

One of the best things about movies is their effects on people, and it's endearing to read Powell opening up about the effect "Top Gun" had on his life. It is true that the movie has made a significant impact on popular culture and how the general public views the Navy Fighters Weapons School. In my humble opinion, more actors should open up about getting nervous or even having out-of-body experiences working with icons of the screen, as these stories are always interesting. And endearing.

Audiences will not have to wait long to see Powell operate an F-18 airplane and wear cool aviators as "Top Gun: Maverick" soars into theaters on May 27, 2022.