'It broke my heart': Lewis Hamilton reveals regret at turning down Top Gun sequel role

Lewis Hamilton (right) said friendship with Tom Cruise  (Getty)
Lewis Hamilton (right) said friendship with Tom Cruise (Getty)

Formula One superstar Lewis Hamilton has revealed he turned down the chance to star in Top Gun: Maverick and is still kicking himself for it.

The British driver, 39, and Top Gun star Tom Cruise, 61, became friends after the actor invited him to visit the set of his 2014 film Edge of Tomorrow.

They remained in contact after that, with the Hollywood A-Lister sending Hamilton encouraging messages during races.

Hamilton eventually asked Cruise to cast him in a hypothetical sequel to 1986’s Top Gun, years before it was finally greenlit.

Tom Cruise reprised his role as Maverick for Top Gun: Maverick (AP)
Tom Cruise reprised his role as Maverick for Top Gun: Maverick (AP)

Recalling the tale to GQ magazine, he said: “Firstly, I hadn’t even had, like, an acting lesson,” he told the magazine. “And I don’t want to be the one that lets this movie down. And then secondly, I just really didn’t have the time to dedicate to it. I remember having to tell Joe and Tom — and it broke my heart. And then I regretted it, naturally, when they show me the movie and it’s: It could’ve been me! Oh, God, I’m still….’

“I said, ‘Dude, if you ever do Top Gun 2, I will even be a janitor,’” Hamilton recalled telling Cruise at the time. “’Just let me be in it.'”

Once the sequel started pre-production, the F1 favourite said the Mission: Impossible star remembered his request and put Hamilton in contact with director Joseph Kosinski, who ended up offering him a role as one of the film’s pilots.

However, due to his busy schedule, including the 2018 title race, as well as his lack of acting experience, Hamilton said he ultimately passed on the opportunity.

He immediately regretted the decision once he saw the 2022 action film starring Cruise, Miles Teller and Glen Powell.

Considering Top Gun 3 is now said to be in the works, perhaps Hamilton will have a chance to rectify his error.