'A Lot Of Puke' Is The Price You Pay For A Spot In Top Gun: Maverick

Much has changed in the movie business since the original "Top Gun" hit theaters in the summer of 1986. The special effects industry has taken gigantic leaps forward and, largely through the use of computer-generated visual effects, just about anything is possible. But when Tom Cruise decided to return for "Top Gun: Maverick" all these years later, he wasn't about to let the younger cast members get off easy. No, no, no. Instead, they were all put through the wringer and subjected to actual flights in actual military aircraft until they were, quite literally, sick.

Work was, quite literally, sickening for the cast

Cruise is not only returning as Maverick in director Joseph Kosinski's long-awaited sequel but he serves as a producer on the film as well. As such, he had quite a bit of say-so in how things went. To that end, in an interview with Mirror, it was revealed that the "Mission: Impossible" star insisted that the young cast members were put through actual fighter pilot training for the "Top Gun" follow-up. As Glen Powell tells it, this resulted in some unpleasant side effects.

"There was a lot of puke during filming. Before shooting, Tom sent us on three months of training to get used to the g-force. [But] even with training, nothing prepares you for the intensity of flying in an F-18. We were all flying once a day and Tom was up there three times every day. But it didn't phase him at all. There we are, all being sick into bags, and he is taking everything in his stride. The guy is a machine."

Despite pushing 60, it appears that Cruise was able to handle all of the G-force just fine. Powell, who plays a new character named Jake 'Hangman' Seresin, on the other hand? Not so much. It's the cost of doing business though if you want to be in a big-budget blockbuster sequel to one of the biggest movies of the 80s, right alongside one of the most bankable movie stars in the world.

There was (mostly) no drinking during filming either

One assumes that a movie about a group of elite military pilots might result in some partying during off-hours. Normally, that might be true but because of the physical demands this movie required, Cruise didn't want the cast drinking as to avoid hangovers that might get in the way of getting the job done. Miles Teller, who plays Bradley 'Rooster' Bradshaw, the son of Goose, explained that he actually could have used a drink or two after some of the intense days of work.

"There were days after a tough shoot I could have really used a couple of beers ... but you just don't want to be flying at those speeds hungover."

Teller did make one exception while attending a wedding during the production, though there may have been a bit of regret associated with that as Teller says, "The next day I had flight training in 100C heat. That was rough." Hangovers are rough in the best of times. Having to do military flight training whilst hungover? That's on another level.

Blockbuster movies are serious business, and Cruise knows it

Much can be said of Tom Cruise, the man, as he is a complicated figure who has been one of the most famous people on the planet for decades now. What can not be called into question, however, is his downright insane devotion to the craft of moviemaking on every level. He takes this stuff very seriously and these accounts from the set of "Top Gun: Maverick" very much back that up. It's also worth saying that he's very much right to take this all so seriously as, when it really comes down to it, blockbuster filmmaking is a serious (and very expensive) business venture, at its core. The stakes are high.

Yes, filmmaking is also (or at least should also be) art but it's a very unique intersection of art and commerce that allows blockbuster movies to exist at all. This movie carries a reported $170 million production budget before marketing. That is absolutely no small thing and it all flows through Cruise, more or less. So, on some level, those of us who want to see blockbusters outside of superhero movies remain viable in the future should appreciate the dedication that Cruise has. On the one hand, it's just a movie but at the same time, a whole lot of money is at stake and, for that reason, it should be taken seriously. Even if that means some barf bags get filled along the way.

"Top Gun: Maverick" hits theaters on May 27, 2022.