Miles Teller, joining Cruise in this year’s blockbuster hit, Topgun: Maverick, talks about intense flight training and learning from the master himself.
INDULGE: What does it mean to you to be a part of the Top Gun franchise?
MILES: I think anytime that you are carrying the torch in continuing the legacy of something that continues to make such an impact not just cinematically but culturally is incredible. I can’t tell you how many dudes wear the aviators and quote the movie. To be able to re-energize and continue that story has been a really incredible journey for me.”
INDULGE: Sequels can be tricky, especially when it comes to a classic. How is this one different from the original? Where does it improve?
MILES: When people see this film, the big difference is the flying, the aerial footage. I don’t think it will ever be matched. The overall vision for the sequences is to put the audiences in the box, in the cockpit. You’re going to feel like you’re flying with these guys, for better or worse, because we are doing some pretty hair maneuvers! But I think as far as the story goes, when you are a first person experiencing these things with these guys, it adds a level of investment.
INDULGE: Tom is known for doing his own stunts. Did he expect the same from you? What was his vision for these flying sequences? And how did you prepare for it?
MILES: I know Tom didn’t want there to beany green screens, he wanted the actors to be in the jets. That’s something we signed up for. I don’t think any of us knew how tough that would be. Myself included. And we started out in the Cessna and then we went to the Extra 300, which was doing the aerobatics maneuvers. We also had to get all this swim training going on because we had to be certified to fly over water in case we had to eject, so we had to have all this survival training which was very intense. You get blindfolded, strapped to a chair, in a dunker, water fills up, they submerge you, spin you upside down, and you gotta get out.
INDULGE: How did Tom support the actors during such rigorous training?
MILES: (Tom) truly knows everything that we are going through so he really took the time to make sure that we were going to be good to go. That door was always open. I could text him or send him an email any time I had a question. He has taught us all how to film an action sequence. So I got a masterclass in doing action scenes from the master.
INDULGE: What can audiences expect from this movie? Well, the few that haven’t already seen it!
MILES: I think the movie checks a lot of boxes. First of all, it will be entertaining. That’s what you want. You want to go to a movie and be entertained. I think this movie is very emotional, it’s for all ages. We are representing a group of people for whom I have the utmost respect. I think it’s funny, it’s dramatic, it’s high stakes, and as far as the aerial footage is concerned, we’re doing something that’s never been done, so it’s also visionary. Movies like this don’t come along very often so I think people are in for a treat!
— Kelly Fine.
This interview had been edited for length and clarity. Special thanks to Paramount Pictures.