Jay Ellis, who plays Reuben "Payback" Fitch, told Daily Pop's Francesca Amiker: "We're flying all these crazy maneuvers with him every single day. It was just this crazy experience."
Not only did the cast undergo intense flight training, but Ellis shared that they also swam with the coach of the U.S. Open Water swim team and went on "culture trips" to learn about the day-to-day experiences of pilots.
"It was just so much information," Ellis continued, "but it was also so well thought out and planned where it never felt like you were just getting hit with a ton of stuff. It was just these little incremental steps that you were taking, and then all of a sudden, we were all like, ‘Yeah, we pilots.'"
The training certainly paid off, as Monica Barbaro—who plays Natasha "Phoenix" Trace—shared that they had to reshoot a scene because they all had gained "more swagger". She joked, "They were like, ‘We need to go back and do this again because you're different.'"
But sometimes, it was hard to live up to the action movie legend that is Cruise—who reprises his role as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell from the 1986 film—especially for Miles Teller.
"When I was getting flustered at times or just kinda in the weeds a little bit, I was like, ‘Guys, I'm not Tom,'" said Teller. "Acting is one thing, but when you're acting going 500 knots a hundred feet above sea level into a canyon, it's really intense. So, you need to be as kind of skilled and as comfortable as possible in those situations, and Tom made sure of it."
It's Cruise's love for aviation (he's an avid pilot) that helped the rest of the cast push through tough times. "It's contagious when you're around him," Glen Powell—who plays Jake "Hangman" Seresin—told Daily Pop. "I mean, him even leaving set in his P-51, taking off into the sunset. He makes things look really, really cool, and so, you kinda wanna be a part of that world."
Joining the world of Top Gun was an exciting experience for Teller, who plays Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, the son of Anthony Edwards' Nick "Goose" Bradshaw from the original.
"The relationship between he and Maverick is really complicated, and it's really not for the reason I think people think that it's gonna be," he said. "There's a lot of layers to it, and I just thought it was a beautiful script and I was really proud to be a part of it."
Incorporating Goose's iconic mustache into his character's look was Teller's idea. "When Tom first saw me in it with the hair, the mustache and the flight suit," said Teller, "he was just like, you know, ‘The resemblance is uncanny.'"
Check out the full interview above.
Top Gun: Maverick premieres exclusively in theaters Friday, May 27.