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Expert Uncovers Tom Cruise’s Pilot Prowess in Top Gun: Maverick

Published on October 4th, 2023 | Updated on October 4th, 2023 | By FanFest

Chris Hadfield, Retired Astronaut and Engineer, Deciphers Tom Cruise’s Pilot Expertise in Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise

Following the success of Joseph Kosinski‘s 2022 sequel to the 1986 classic, Top Gun: Maverick, which grossed over $1.493 billion worldwide, Tom Cruise reprises his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, training a new generation of pilots for a perilous mission. Retired astronaut and engineer Chris Hadfield recently examined the film’s scenes in a Vanity Fair video, singling out a subtle yet significant aspect of Cruise’s performance during the Darkstar sequence at the movie’s beginning.

Hadfield highlights Cruise’s delivery of a seemingly inconsequential line in the sequence, emphasizing the film’s commitment to precision and authenticity. For the full insight, see Hadfield’s commentary below:

“I love this movie. I do not know of a better pilot flying movie that has ever been made. Kudos to the people that made this film, especially to Tom Cruise. That scene at the end when tom’s flying a P-51 Mustang, that’s Tom’s Mustang. Like he’s a real pilot.

“There’s a delightful little touch that Tom Cruise snuck in [during the Darkstar sequence], when, as he’s taxiing out to takeoff, he says, ‘I have information Alpha.’ What that means is he’s listened to the recording that tells what the weather is and what runway is active so that the tower doesn’t have to repeat it to him. It didn’t need to be in the movie, but it’s real and I just love that scene.”

Why Top Gun 2’s Aerial Sequences Feel So Real

Tom Cruise

While it’s undeniable that Top Gun: Maverick boasts its fair share of visual effects, one of the key factors that contributed to its popularity among audiences was its commitment to practical action. The idea of a sequel to the original Top Gun movie had been floating around for some time, but Tom Cruise had been hesitant, citing various reasons, including the lack of filmmaking technology capable of immersing viewers inside real fighter jets with actual actors.

Now, thanks to advancements in camera technology, that vision has become a reality. The crucial next step was to train the cast of Top Gun: Maverick to endure the intense G forces that accompany the high-flying maneuvers featured in the film. This rigorous training regimen was humorously dubbed “Tom Cruise Boot Camp,” where the cast not only forged strong bonds but also mentally and physically prepared themselves for the demanding hours spent in fighter jets.

Tom Cruise

While none of the cast, including Cruise, had the privilege of piloting the military aircraft, they shared the cockpit with actual Navy pilots during filming. This commitment to authenticity translates seamlessly onto the screen, as witnessing genuine flying sequences proves far more thrilling than actors simulating them against a green screen. Top Gun: Maverick undoubtedly wowed audiences, and Hadfield’s recent remarks affirm its credibility even among aeronautics experts.

Quick summary

  • In a Vanity Fair video, retired astronaut Chris Hadfield lauds Tom Cruise’s pilot performance in “Top Gun: Maverick,” spotlighting a precise yet significant detail.
  • The film’s success, grossing over $1.493 billion globally, stems from its commitment to practical action and authentic training, earning it acclaim among audiences.
  • By collaborating closely with Navy pilots, the cast brought genuine flying sequences to life on screen, impressing even aeronautics experts like Hadfield.

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