Top Gun: Maverick is one of the biggest releases of 2022. It is the second-highest-grossing film of the year and the highest-grossing film of lead actor Tom Cruise’s career. Receiving a 96% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Top Gun: Maverick is loved by both the audience as well as the critics. Apart from Tom Cruise, Glen Powell, and Miles Teller are also a part of the ensemble.
Talking about Glen Powell, the actor plays the role of Jake “Hangman” Seresin, the nemesis to Miles Teller’s Jake “Rooster” Bradshaw. Even though Glen Powell’s portrayal of the character was loved by the audience, the actor himself had a few doubts about playing Hangman as he believed the character was just Rooster’s nemesis and not something of his own. However, one piece of advice from Tom Cruise led to Glen Powell seeing Hangman in a different light.
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Tom Cruise’s Advice for Glen Powell
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When Glen Powell got the role of Hangman in Top Gun: Maverick, his heart was simply not in it. He believed that his character was just there to give Miles Teller’s Rooster some conflict and that was about it. Talking to GQ, Powell revealed that his initial thoughts were that Hangman was not a three-dimensional character and he wasn’t sure if the role was a necessity or not.
“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 pay off. I didn’t know why he existed.”
However, a little advice from Tom Cruise himself turned the way Powell looked at Hangman around. Cruise told him that he needed the audience to fall in love with Powell’s character. He also advised Powell on how to manage his body language as kicking his feet up might not sit well with the global audience.
“It’s not that I need people to root for you, but I need them to love watching you…In some places in the world, this piece of body language will turn them off emotionally to your character.”
From there on, Powell grew a liking to the character. The character who he once referred to as “d*ck garnish and “Navy Draco Malfoy” now became someone he couldn’t imagine missing out on.
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When Glen Powell Almost Played Rooster
Powell was destined to be Hangman, however, he had to go through the Rooster obstacle first. When the Devotion actor came to know he had lost the role of Rooster to Teller, he was obviously disheartened. However, when the news became public, Powell decided to use humor to handle the ordeal. He tweeted that he would be taking down all the posters with Cruise’s face down from his walls. He then continued that the posters would be staying up, despite the role leaving his grasp.
I’m taking down all the Tom Cruise posters in my bedroom. Maybe, I’ll leave one. Two for symmetry. Okay, the posters are staying. https://t.co/7gCpNLJCcz
— Glen Powell (@glenpowell) July 3, 2018
Despite dealing with the news in a humorous way, he revealed to Variety that sadness hit him the next day. This is why, when Cruise called to pitch him the role of Hangman, he was pretty happy.
“Within an hour the press had gotten a hold of Miles’ casting and it was everywhere. So I made a joke, I said, ‘I’ll just say something silly and funny.’ Then the sadness hit the next day, so I’m really glad I got that tweet out before that. Then the experience of Tom Cruise calling me and pitching me this whole other thing and the back and forth with him and Jerry Bruckheimer and Joe Kosinski and Chris McQuarrie happened and I’m so glad it did.”
He also stated that while he can’t be sure that it was because of his tweet that he landed the role, he was glad he said something. Powell added that you can never know how little things can alter the course of your life and he was grateful he tweeted what he tweeted, even if that wasn’t the reason why he got hired to play Hangman.
Top Gun: Maverick is available to stream on Paramount+.