Glen Powell’s Hangman became an important part of Top Gun: Maverick, but the character had not been as impactful and iconic when he first auditioned for it. Tom Cruise’s movie became one of his biggest projects ever, much to his surprise, and this benefitted everyone involved in the film including Powell. The first movie was an integral part of Cruise’s life and hence the upcoming sequel quickly became one of the most important aspects of it as well.
The Set It Up actor was not very keen on playing the role, considering he was originally auditioning for the role of Rooster, the son of Goose. This, however, was not what the movie had in store for him, as the role would be then taken on by Miles Teller and Powell would be acting as a rival character.
Glen Powell Did Not Want to Play Hangman’s Two-Dimensional Personality
Glen Powell was far from being interested in playing Jake ‘Hangman’ Seresin, as according to him, the character was very lacking in depth and his personality was rather cunning and did not have much to be liked about. He even stated that Hangman was essentially just another Draco Malfoy who was in the Navy.
Top Gun: Maverick saw the return of Tom Cruise in the titular role after over three decades. It focused on his character and all the changes that had occurred in his life, which he was either not willing to move on from, or was too scared to deal with. This included the death of his former teammate, Goose, whose son happened to be one of the pilots-in-training. Maverick is asked to train an entirely new team who is going to be facing a mission that could put their life on the line. Among these new trainees was Miles Teller’s Rooster and Glen Powell’s Hangman, who was initially known as Slayer.
“He was there to add conflict to Rooster’s character, which is a good thing, but he wasn’t three-dimensional and he had no payoff. I didn’t know why he existed. It was a leap of faith. In hindsight, I’m like, God, I can’t imagine if I missed out on this one, but it wasn’t so obvious.”
Glen Powell was far from being keen to play the character and it took Tom Cruise, director Joseph Kosinski, the producer, and writer all together to convince the actor to not walk away from the role.
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Glen Powell Brought Life To Hangman
Many of the character’s artistic choices, including the name change from Slayer, were made with input from the actor. Even though Powell was well-liked, it would be difficult to disagree with his assertion that Hangman was not crafted to perfection. Although he was entertaining to watch, especially when he played with Maverick and Rooster, there wasn’t much known about him other than the fact that he was an arrogant, but skilled Navy pilot. Even if he had some character growth at the end of the movie, that doesn’t exactly make him a fully developed player.
Glen Powell very beautifully gave character to Hangman, removing his concept of purely being a two-dimensional character. His growth, although minimal, was evident. This included his admiration for Maverick and his respect as well as trust for Rooster.
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