Tom Cruise is back on the big screen in style Top Gun: Maverick. The sequel meets the titular protagonist more than 30 years after the original film as he is tasked with training a new group of TOPGUN alumni, including Goose’s Rooster’s son, for a dangerous new mission.
Along with Cruz, the cast of Top Gun: Maverick Includes Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, Monica Barbaro, Glenn Powell, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez and Louis Pullman.
In anticipation of the media release of the film at home, splash screen Speak exclusively with star Jay Ellis to discuss Top Gun: Maverickhis surprise at the success of the sequel, his thoughts on a possible third movie, and more.
Screen Rant: How are you, Jay?
Jay Ellis: I’m fine, man, I’ve got a movie at the box office and it’s still working, I’m cool.
It’s crazy to see how far Top Gun: MaverickHe was gone in just two months since his appearance. I remember before, when you were talking about the movie, you hadn’t yet seen it with the audience and only watched it with your fellow co-stars. Have you had the chance since then to see her in a theater with a full audience?
Jay Ellis: Oh man, I’ve seen it with about 11 or 12 audiences now around the world. I watched it with a South Korean audience, a French audience, an English audience, Atlanta, Miami. Me and Glen Powell, on the weekend the movie came out, we kind of bounced around L.A. and we’d go to theaters and just watch the audience watching the movie, which was also a very interesting and fun experience. But yeah, you’ve probably seen that with 11 different audiences now, I think.
Wow, that’s so little, that’s cool. How did you feel when you saw this overwhelmingly positive response?
Jay Ellis: Yeah, he’s crazy, man. The only thing that I think is really amazing is no matter where we’ve been, or where you’ve seen the movie so far, there are so many moments that stand up to us, waiting for us all over the world, no matter the language, no matter the age, there are so many One of the moments that holds up in this movie, which is pretty cool, because it’s a truly global movie and made for a global audience. You hear a lot of people say that about movies, but when you can actually say you’ve seen it in multiple countries now, it reaffirms the power of filmmaking, the power of story, and how amazing a story can be and how we can. Entertain people all over the world.
This is a movie that clearly did that and it was really cool. It’s also great to hear that there are obviously quite a few places where people laugh at different things. So it’s really interesting to hear where a South Korean audience laughed versus a French audience versus the Navy audience in San Diego. It was interesting to hear about these little places where you don’t necessarily see something funny, and people just go out laughing or giggling which is great.
It’s great that it’s globally connected. When a sequel takes too long to be produced Top Gun: Maverick Sometimes there is reservation among the fans or even the staff about whether it can live up to the original level. When I first heard about Top Gun 2 Being in the works, how was that for you, did you have that similar feeling of, ‘Well, can this match the privileged status of the original?’
Jay Ellis: Yes. I think in Hollywood, I think we all have that feeling. I think there are a lot of sequels that have been made and then, obviously, reproduced as well. I think we all have that feeling, you’re like, “Ah, man, I don’t know, but I really want to see it.” In particular, I think the interesting thing about this movie is that you really want to see where Pete Maverick is after 30 years, you really want to see how this guy ended up. You want to see how Iceman ended up, it’s really interesting. I think with this movie, one of the reasons I’m definitely like I’m in, and there are so many people in it, is that you really want to see where these characters end up after all these years.
Then, obviously, flying and flying looks a little different, we’ve been more than 30 years in the future since then, so it looks different, so what does flying look like and what does flight photography look like? I also think it’s another thing that a lot of people are drawn to. But one of the things we talked about on set was like this movie, it was one or the other, it’s either going to be a failure or it’s going to be the most amazing thing ever just because that title is so likable. The Top Gun is so loved by people that we knew the bar we had to get to to make sure everyone loved it as much as we did.
Now that it’s a hit, as I kind of expected, there have been hopes and conversations about its potential Top Gun 3. What are your feelings about this likely to happen?
Jay Ellis: Grant, I feel like you’re trying to force me to take a swim test again, and I gotta tell you, man, it was a tough swim test. It was really hard, Grant, it was really hard. [Chuckles] Listen, I’d like to be in a third, if Paramount is listening now, let’s do a third, why not? we will see. I think one of the things that would be quite a third, if there is a third thing, and I haven’t heard there is a third thing, is, how do you depict flying? How is the journey different from this movie to the next?
Because I think that’s one of the things Tom is going to tell you, in the 30 years that he hasn’t made this movie, one of the reasons it took him some time was because he really wanted to be able to portray the flying experience for what it really is and the only way to do that was to be able to go up to the back of the F-18 and put cameras there and put actors in them. I think we’ve created that experience now, so it’s the next version of that, and I think the next iteration of that, is really a big part of whatever the next movie could be.
Well, it’s going to be interesting to see what comes of that because you’re right, it has evolved in a way that makes it even more exciting than the original with this new movie. Now, before letting you go, the beach soccer scene is clearly one of the most talked about moments in that it has recreated the feel of the volleyball scene. I remember a story about Glenn remembering how he went and enjoyed a bunch of sweets right after filming and then had to come back to reshoot. Have you had a similar situation with that?
Jay Ellis: Yeah, you know, we all went out the next night to shoot that scene. We all went to a place in downtown San Diego that I think was called Busby’s, and it was a place for kids, and it was like toes and wings, and that was kind of their specialty.
We all sat down and had a beer and ate wings and wings and candy, like sweets and biscuits and cake, and Danny ate a spicy ghost pepper wing and literally loved his lip burn, because he took, I mean, just a huge bite. But we did and we all paid for it, because after about three or four days, our first ad and Tommy, our executive producer, come up to us, and they’re like, “Yeah, we should shoot again.” From that moment on, everyone was like, back to broccoli for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus we were on the treadmill, plus we were training, plus we were in the sauna sweating just to get ready to reshoot.
Top Gun: Maverick Summary
After more than 30 years of service as a senior naval aviator, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) was where he belonged, pushing the envelope as a brave test pilot. However, Maverick must confront the ghosts of his past when he returns to TOP GUN to train a group of elite alumni and confronts Lieutenant Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of his former pilot “Gus”. Bitter rivalries rage as pilots prepare for a specialized mission that will require the utmost sacrifice from those chosen to fly it.
Check out our previous interviews with the cast and crew Top Gun: Maverick like that.
Top Gun: Maverick Now on digital platforms and hitting shelves on 4K Ultra-HD, Blu-ray and DVD on November 1.