Tom Cruise cried filming Val Kilmer's Top Gun: Maverick scene

Tom Cruise cried filming Val Kilmer’s Top Gun: Maverick scene

Tom Cruise recently opened up about the emotional experience of reuniting with Val Kilmer for their roles in “Top Gun: Maverick.” The “Mission: Impossible” star reprised his iconic role as Maverick in the 2022 sequel to the 1986 classic “Top Gun.” In a poignant scene, Cruise’s character seeks advice from his former rival Iceman, played by Kilmer, who has been battling throat cancer in real life.

During an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Cruise shared his feelings about the scene, which has resonated deeply with fans. “I just want to say, that was pretty emotional,” Cruise remarked. “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.”

When Kimmel admitted that he cried while watching the scene, Cruise revealed that he was equally moved. “I was crying. I got emotional,” he confessed. “He’s such a brilliant actor, and I love his work.”

Cruise was instrumental in bringing Kilmer back for the sequel, insisting that the film wouldn’t be complete without him. Kilmer, who has largely lost his ability to speak due to his cancer treatments, incorporated his real-life illness into the script, adding a layer of authenticity and emotional depth to the film.

In his memoir, Kilmer explained his determination to return as Iceman, despite not being initially contacted by the producers. “Tom was Maverick, but Maverick’s nemesis was Iceman. The two went together like salt and pepper,” Kilmer wrote. “It didn’t matter that the producers didn’t contact me. As The Temptations sang in the heyday of Motown soul, ‘Ain’t too proud to beg.'”

“Top Gun: Maverick” has been a massive success, grossing nearly $1.5 billion at the global box office and earning six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. The film’s success has been credited with revitalizing the theatrical movie industry, with Steven Spielberg even telling Cruise that he “saved Hollywood’s ass” with the film.

During his appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Cruise reflected on the special bond he shares with Kilmer. “I’ve always admired his work, his talent,” he said. “We get together … we just start laughing. It was special to have him back. It meant a lot to me.”

For Kilmer, stepping back into the role of Iceman was like reuniting with an old friend. “Even after more than 30 years, the characters never really go away. They live on in deep freeze. If you’ll pardon the pun,” Kilmer told PEOPLE.

The emotional reunion between Maverick and Iceman has been one of the most talked-about moments of the film. Kilmer’s return to acting, despite his health challenges, has been inspiring for fans and colleagues alike. “It was a very emotional day, having Val there and seeing him work with Tom after 35 years,” producer Jerry Bruckheimer told The Hollywood Reporter.

Cruise’s commitment to the film and his insistence on including Kilmer has paid off in spades. The film’s blend of high-octane action and heartfelt moments has struck a chord with audiences worldwide. “Top Gun: Maverick” is not just a blockbuster; it’s a testament to the enduring power of friendship and the resilience of the human spirit.

As Cruise continues to celebrate the film’s success, he remains grateful for the opportunity to work with Kilmer again. “It truly is the honor of a lifetime,” he said in a recent video message to fans. “Thank you for supporting ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ and thank you for allowing us to entertain you.”

With “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part I” set to hit theaters soon, Cruise shows no signs of slowing down. But the emotional reunion with Kilmer in “Top Gun: Maverick” will undoubtedly remain one of the most memorable moments of his illustrious career.

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