Tom Cruise pulled one sick prank that left a Top Gun co-star fearing the worst

May 31, 2024

Tom Cruise has been one of the biggest stars in Hollywood for decades.

But he’s been known to try and have a little fun on set.

And Tom Cruise pulled one sick prank that left a Top Gun co-star fearing the worst.

Tom Cruise terrifies co-star with a helicopter stunt

2022’s smash hit Top Gun: Maverick was a breakthrough performance for actor Glen Powell who played Naval aviator Jake “Hangman” Seresin.

But the young actor fell victim to a prank by his co-star Hollywood legend Tom Cruise that left him terrified. 

Cruise offered to fly Powell back to Pinewood Studios in London, England in his helicopter to do reshoots.

But Cruise had a little fun with him by nosediving the helicopter to make it seem like they were going to crash.

“Tom goes ‘Oh no, oh no,’ and he starts dropping the helicopter over London,” Powell told GQ. “I was like, ‘Am I about to be the unnamed guy that dies with Tom in a smoking hole in the middle of London?’”

The pair made it to the studio after Powell got the fright of his life.

Powell recalled another learning lesson he got while working with Cruise.

He was dispatched to a Los Angeles movie theater to watch a “film school” movie that Cruise created for his friends.

Powell showed up at the theater to discover that he was only the person there.

And the movie was six hours of Cruise talking about everything he’s learned about the movie business over the decades.

He said that Cruise’s movie was intended for his “friends.”

“[Cruise] is like: ‘Do we all agree that this is what a camera is? This is the difference between a film camera and a digital camera . . .’ The funniest part is on flying,” Powell recalled. “It was like he put together this entire flight school. So he would literally go ‘OK, this is what a plane is. Here’s how things fly. Here’s how air pressure works.’”

Powell was thankful for the opportunity to work with Cruise on Top Gun: Maverick.

Top Gun: Maverick changed Glen Powell’s career in Hollywood

Powell said that he appreciated Cruise’s attention to detail and commitment to the filmmaking process while working with him.

“The one thing I feel we’re kindred spirits in is he’s obsessed with movies,” Powell said. “That was our love language on set. I got to watch a guy who knew every department. He was able to clearly interface with everyone, and be so friendly and respectful and be able to communicate that vision.”

Powell parlayed his appearance in the movie to become one of the rising stars in Hollywood.

But he, like many people, watched his bank account become depleted during the pandemic.

“I’d never made any significant amount of money on a movie, including Top Gun,” and I was depleting a bank account to a point where my accountant was like, ‘This pandemic cannot last much longer,’” Powell told The Hollywood Reporter.

“But Tom was already Tom; I was waiting for my life to change,” Powell explained.

Powell’s character in Top Gun was a cocky young pilot and Cruise told him to lean into that.

“Tom gave me this advice: ‘For the ending to work, you have to completely lean into that. Everybody else in the movie is questioning their own ability,'” Powell said. “You’re the only guy that’s not questioning it. So, if there’s any sort of apology in anything you say, the movie doesn’t work. Lean into the d—–baggery of it all.”

Working with Tom Cruise changed the trajectory of Glen Powell’s career.

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