Entertainment Tom Cruise was skeptical to star in 'Top Gun' until he flew with the US Navy's Blue Angels: They 'flipped him and did all kinds of stunts'
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Some advocates question whether the nation is too fixated on mass shootings rather than smaller scale gun deaths and suicides. But data from the Gun Violence Archive shows that they account for a small fraction of the tens of thousands of deaths from gun violence in the U.S. each year.
- Tom Cruise was mixed about doing his blockbuster 1989 film, "Top Gun."
- Producer Jerry Bruckheimer said it was him flying with the Navy's Blue Angels that finally sold him.
- "[He] said, 'Jerry. I'm making the movie. I love it,'" Bruckheimer said of Cruise.
When "" came out in 1986, it thrust Tom Cruise into superstardom after the movie became one of the biggest hits of that year thanks to its and the song "Danger Zone" from Kenny Loggins.
But the movie's producer, Jerry Bruckheimer,that it took some convincing to get Cruise to sign on and play the movie's star, US Navy pilot, Pete "Maverick" Mitchell.
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"It wasn't easy," Bruckheimer told the trade, which is celebrating the movie's 35th anniversary. "We wanted Tom after we saw 'Risky Business' and he kind of hemmed and hawed."
Though Variety points out other actors like Matthew Modine, Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Matthew Broderick, and even Tom Hanks were being considered for the role, Bruckheimer clarified it was always Cruise they wanted to play Maverick.
So, to convince the rising star, Bruckheimer said they got bold and offered Cruise to fly with the famed US Navy flight stunt squadron, the. "He drove up there on his motorcycle and he had just finished a movie with Ridley Scott, 'Legend,' and his hair was long and in a ponytail," Bruckheimer recalled when Cruise showed up at the Naval Air Facility in El Centro, California.
"They took one look at him and thought, we're going to give this hippie a ride," Bruckheimer continued. "They took him up on an F-14 and flipped him and did all kinds of stunts to turn him around [to] make sure he never got back in a cockpit. But it was just the opposite."
Tom Cruise Returns His 3 Golden Globe Awards in Protest Against the HFPA
The A-list star is among a slew of actors and filmmakers calling out the organization for their lack of diversity.ET can confirm that the 58-year-old actor has returned his three Golden Globe trophies as a sign of protest while the organization works to figure out new diversity and inclusion initiatives. Cruise won his first Golden Globe in 1990 for Born on the Fourth of July, then again in 1997 for Jerry Maguire and in 2000 for Magnolia.
Bruckheimer said Cruise landed, walked right to a phone and called him.
"[He] said, 'Jerry. I'm making the movie. I love it,'" Bruckheimer said.
"Top Gun" would not just launch Cruise on the path to A-list stardom thanks to how good he looked in a bomber jacket, it began his thirst for thrill-seeking in his movies.
Cruise has gone on to do the "Mission: Impossible" franchise, where he does many of. And "Top Gun: Maverick," a long-awaited "Top Gun" sequel (which comes out in November), will feature .
"He became an amazing aviator himself," Bruckheimer said. "He can fly just about any plane they can make."
Mission: Impossible 7 Production Shuts Down Again Due to Positive COVID Test, Months After Tom Cruise Rant .
It's unclear at this time how many people may have tested positive, or when production will resume . A representative for Paramount did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. The news comes several months after an audio recording leaked late last year that featured Tom Cruise lashing out at crew members on the set of Mission: Impossible 7 over COVID-19 protocols being neglected.