During their time shooting Top Gun: Maverick, Tom Cruise took Glen Powell under his wing, the latter being a fellow aviation aficionado. As could be expected for any beginner taking up a potentially life-threatening hobby, the inexperienced actor was testing out the waters before fully committing to his adventures in the sky. However, knowing Tom Cruise, it is never easy to be around the multifaceted Hollywood star and not be influenced by him.
As it so happens, Glen Powell after being gifted with several flying lessons, motorcycle lessons, and a stunt driving certificate, was swept up in the unstoppable cyclone of Tom Cruise’s influence and almost risked his life trying to live up to the latter’s expectations.
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Tom Cruise, Glen Powell, and Their Adventure in the Skies
While on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Glen Powell has treasure hoards of stories to tell and not enough time. As he jumps from one Hollywood adventure to another, the Set It Up actor transports the audience from the interiors of Jerry Bruckheimer’s billion-dollar party to the most chaotic second date of his life with Tom Cruise as the third wheel. Recalling a particularly harsh day in London’s unpredictable weather, Glen Powell says:
“We were going to go do some reshoots in London. And I said, “Hey man, I want to go skydiving while I’m out here, I hear the skydiving is great.” He goes, “Yeah,” and he sends a helicopter for me. And it got so windy that the skydiving team — I was with the UK skydiving team — and they said it was so dangerous, we should not go skydiving. And I was like, “Alright, I’m no hero, I’m good.” So then we scrapped it, and went back.
And then Tom hit me up a couple weeks later and was like, “Hey man, what are you, scared?” And I’m like, “What are you talking about?” And he’s like, “You never took me up on the skydiving.” I’m like, “Oh, I’ll do it whenever, man”… When I got there, I found out that Tom’s only request was that — Glen cannot go skydiving with another person, he has to go solo the first time.
So I literally have to jump out of this plane by myself, but the worst part is that I couldn’t find my tab when I was falling. And my first thought, which is not like a selfless thought, but my first thought was, “Oh, Tom just killed me. He’s gonna feel so bad.” I was like, “God, he pushed me to do this thing.” I’m looking for the tab and I’m like, “You’re not Tom Cruise. You’ll never be Tom Cruise. Why did you do this?””
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Even as Glen Powell recalls the chaotic adventure on the Tonight show, which reads like just another day in the life of Tom Cruise, the story is received with laughter and applause among the audience. But underneath the comedy of the adrenaline-riddled adventure, the story belies the harsher facts about Cruise’s non-precautionary actions, which could have just as easily landed his younger co-star in a very grave fate.
Glen Powell’s Fascination With All Things Tom Cruise
Despite the dangerous advocacy to go skydiving alone, Tom Cruise’s overshadowing presence does little to deter Glen Powell who is all in on his once-in-a-lifetime adventure with the megastar of Hollywood. With starry eyes, Powell recalls how Tom Cruise mentored him to be as equally accomplished as him after witnessing the former’s potential and affinity to take up high-adrenaline sports.
“While we were shooting Top Gun [Maverick], we flew in all these different airplanes. And I just had a real love for aviation. So for Christmas, he gave me my pilot’s lessons, flying lessons. So as I was flying and getting that license, I’d send him pictures of all the different stuff I was flying in. So I was finally in my last check ride. I get on the ground and get back to the hangar, and on the table is a note from Tom that said, “Welcome to the skies.” And it was a certificate for stunt driving lessons. He’s gotten me into skydiving. He’s gotten me into motorcycle riding. The guy is just, you know, he convinces you to do all the most dangerous things on the planet.”
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While the admiration for Tom Cruise definitely overcomes the skydiving stunt, it also makes sense that the Top Gun actor would not ask for something that could potentially be threatening to his fellow actor’s life considering how responsible Cruise was while shooting Mission: Impossible — Fallout. Henry Cavill, who plays the primary antagonist in the film recalled the immense maturity and authority that Tom Cruise displayed when the former asked to be allowed to perform a HALO C-17 jump.
Top Gun: Maverick is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Source: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon