Tom Cruise was ‘crying’ during reunion with Val Kilmer on Top Gun: Maverick
Tom Cruise revealed just how emotional his reunion with Val Kilmer was on the set of Top Gun: Maverick.
Kilmer, who appeared alongside Cruise in the 1986 original Top Gun, was diagnosed with cancer in 2015. After successfully undergoing chemotherapy and two tracheotomies, Kilmer is cancer-free but speaks with the use of a voice box.
When he reunited with Cruise in Maverick, his character, Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, is seen speaking through a computer, due to an unspecified illness.
“I just want to say that was pretty emotional. I’ve known Val for decades,” Cruise said during a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
“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.”
“I was crying. I got emotional,” Cruise admitted. “He’s such a brilliant actor, and I love his work.”
In the original Top Gun, Iceman is Maverick’s chief rival on the naval aviator training programme. Maverick eventually earns Iceman’s respect after saving his life, leading Kilmer to the immortal phrase: “You can be my wingman anytime.”
Last year, 63-year-old Kilmer shared a still from the movie on Instagram with the poignant caption: “36 years later… I’m still your wingman
Cruise previously revealed that he “rallied hard” to get Kilmer into the first action movie.
Top Gun: Maverick was the top-grossing film of 2022; it’s the 11th highest-grossing movie in history worldwide and is nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars this year.
At the Academy Awards nominees luncheon earlier this month, Steven Spielberg credited Cruise with saving “Hollywood’s ass”.
“Seriously. Maverick might have saved the entire theatrical industry,” the director told the actor.