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Tom Cruise told Glen Powell to ‘lean into the douchebaggery’

Tom Cruise had some essential advice for Glen Powell when it came to his performance in “Top Gun: Maverick” — be a douchebag.
Powell, who played arrogant Navy pilot Jake “Hangman” Seresin in the film, revealed that his co-star gave him the advice he needed to stop worrying about being liked.
“Sometimes you can fall into the trap of wanting to be liked on camera. And in a movie like this, where you know there’s going to be a lot of eyes on it, you don’t want to be Draco Malfoy,” Powell, 34, told Kate Hudson, 43, during Variety’s Actors on Actors series.
“But Tom gave me this advice: ‘For the ending to work, you have to completely lean into that. Everybody else in the movie is questioning their own ability. You’re the only guy that’s not questioning it. So if there’s any sort of apology in anything you say, the movie doesn’t work. Lean into the douchebaggery of it all,’” he shared.
Glen Powell played arrogant Navy pilot Jake “Hangman” Seresin in “Top Gun: Maverick.” Scott Garfield
Powell joked that he seems to be typecast as a douchebag.
“I keep getting cast as a douchebag. Even the thing I did with [Oliver Hudson, Kate’s brother] in ‘Scream Queens,’ where I’m a super douche,” he quipped.
The “Hidden Figures” actor — who originally auditioned for the role of Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, played by Miles Teller — admitted that Cruise, 60, encouraged him take on yet another Navy aviation movie this year.
Glen Powell and Tom Cruise attend the Korea Red Carpet for “Top Gun: Maverick” at Lotte World on June 19, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures
Aside from “Top Gun,” Powell recently co-starred in “Devotion,” a film based on the true story of Jesse Leroy Brown (Jonathan Majors), the Navy’s first Black aviator.
“When I missed out on the Rooster role, the conversation I had with Tom was, ‘Hey, I didn’t get this role, but I actually have a naval aviation movie I’ve been developing. Maybe that’s just what I’m going to do,’” the actor remembered. “And he convinced me that there’s room for two. And I’m really happy, because everything I learned on ‘Top Gun’ got to be infused into ‘Devotion.’”
But advice wasn’t the only thing the iconic actor gave Powell during the filming of the blockbuster “Top Gun” sequel.
In 2020, Cruise gifted his co-star with flying lessons to get his pilot’s license, which Powell publicly thanked him for on Instagram after his first solo flight.
“For Christmas, Tom bought me an iPad with my flight school downloaded and prepaid. And yesterday, after months of flying, studying, and testing…I’m the real deal,” he wrote at the time.

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