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Top Gun: Maverick’s Director Shares What It Was Like Filming Tom Cruise And Val Kilmer’s Big Reunion

While people have been praising Top Gun: Maverick for its groundbreaking action and adrenaline-rush-inducing moments, another reason audiences love the most successful entry on the 2022 movie schedule is its emotional heartbeat. This is especially true when it comes to the heartfelt scene that reunites Tom Cruise with his Top Gun co-star Val Kilmer. Now, Joseph Kosinski is reflecting on what it was like to film that tear-jerking moment with the two action stars.
In Total Film’s Q&A with Top Gun: Maverick’s director one of the most heartfelt scenes in the movie came up. Kosinski opened up about what it was like filming the scene between Ice Man and Maverick saying (via Games Radar ):
It was certainly one of the most memorable days for me. Val Kilmer’s someone I’ve always admired and Tom [Cruise] has obviously known him since working together on Top Gun. The respect these two men have for each other is evident. The emotions happening in that scene are, I think, very real, very grounded. It wasn’t a scene that took a lot of takes. They were both just right in it from the beginning.
The scene truly is one of the most heartwarming and heart-wrenching moments in the film. You can tell it was emotional to shoot for both Cruise and Kilmer, and watching it in a theater it felt like everyone was sniffling and looking for tissues during their brief interaction.
Kosinski has been very open about how much it meant to get Kilmer into the Top Gun sequel . He also explained that it’s one of his “favorite parts” of the film. It’s touching to hear how much the scene meant to the director and the two actors, because I know I was tearing up thinking about the history and meaning involved with Kilmer playing a role in Top Gun: Maverick.
(Image credit: Paramount)
The scene is even more meaningful because of how Cruise “rallied” to get Kilmer into the sequel. The action star explained that he thinks very highly of his co-star, and said the scene was “very special,” and Kilmer was “beautiful” in it. Kosinski also explained that when he showed the reunion to Kilmer , the actor had a beautiful response, and was “happy” and “moved” by the sequence.
It turns out, Kilmer actually played a massive role in Iceman’s return . Kosinski explained on CinemaBlend’s podcast ReelBlend , that the OG Top Gun actor came in early and “really cracked” the story for his character. He said their reunion was extremely meaningful following the first movie because it showed the arc of Maverick and Iceman going from rivals to friends. And I can safely say all that work, and history paid off, because it’s a beautiful moment in the film.

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