Tom Cruise Says He Was in Tears While Shooting ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Reunion With Val Kilmer: “I Got Emotional”
It turns out that it wasn’t just audiences who got emotional when Tom Cruise’s Maverick reunited with Val Kilmer’s Iceman in last year’s smash hit Top Gun: Maverick.
Cruise visited Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Friday, where he and host Jimmy Kimmel discussed the film’s phenomenal success, which includes six Oscar nominations heading into next month’s Academy Awards ceremony. During the conversation, viewers saw a clip from Top Gun: Maverick in which Cruise and Kilmer have a brief exchange.
“I just want to say, that was pretty emotional,” Cruise said of filming the scene. “I’ve known Val for decades, and for him to come back and play that character — he’s such a powerful actor that he instantly became that character again. You’re looking at Iceman.”
This led Kimmel to ask, “Were you crying when you guys shot that, or was it just me?” After a laugh, Cruise answered earnestly, “I was crying. I got emotional. He’s such a brilliant actor, and I love his work.”
Kimmel then pointed out that the film doesn’t just emphasize stunts but also has plenty of heart, leading Cruise to confirm, “There’s some tears.”
Kilmer, who co-starred with Cruise in the original 1986 hit Top Gun, has largely lost the capacity to speak due to radiation and chemotherapy treatments for throat cancer. Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced both films, previously told The Hollywood Reporter that Cruise was firm about the sequel including Kilmer, who is now cancer-free.
“[Tom] said, ‘I’m not making this movie without Val,’” Bruckheimer said at the time. “When we filmed it, it was a very emotional day, having Val there and seeing him work with Tom after 35 years.”