• Wed. Nov 16th, 2022

Lewis Pullman on Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun: Maverick” Training, Beach Scene

ByJean A. Francis

Jul 1, 2022

Feel the need — to take notes. Lewis Pullmann and his teammates underwent grueling training in order to successfully complete their Top Gun: Maverick fighter pilot duties – and this could not be done without Tom Cruise.

“I just had to turn into a sponge and just absorb, absorb, absorb because it was a new lesson every day. I mean, he’s a Titan,” Pullman, 29, exclusively told We Weekly of Cruise, 59, on Friday, June 24. passion has such a reluctance to set in, always trying to improve even the smallest scenes. And he’s so invested in learning, I mean, he’s already learned it, but in every asset of filmmaking, he seems to have a vast understanding of every particle that goes into making a good movie that everyone everyone can identify with. And so it was just amazing, amazing to watch.

Lewis Pullman with Tom Cruise inset.

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The Outdoor beach Actor plays Lt. Robert “Bob” Floyd in acclaimed 1986 sequel Superior gun. Since its debut on May 27, it has already passed the $1 billion mark at the box office. Cruise returned to reprise his role as Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and insisted the film needed to be seen in theaters. (It was initially delayed due to rising coronavirus cases.)

“He’s not really competing with anyone. The only person he really competes with is himself. So to watch someone have that kind of internal tugging is really inspiring and really infectious,” Pullman said, adding that Cruise took it upon himself to plan the training course the actors attended.

Lewis Pullman Tom Cruises Top Gun practicing on this beach scene
Scott Garfield/Paramount Pictures

“We had to do all this swim training to get certified to get on the plane that wasn’t even in the movie,” Pullman recalls with a laugh. “But despite all of that, despite the challenges, Tom really put together this journey himself, he designed this training himself, this training program. And so who better to do that than Tom Cruise? Who knows exactly what an actor will need from the start to be able to play at this level, and this two and a half month training, what it must have been like. And so really, he kind of gave us this really incremental program and in such a way that it felt manageable and in this kind of bite-sized digestive portions where it was like, ‘OK, I think I can do it. I think it’s absolutely crazy, but I think I can do it.

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Going through “hurdle after hurdle” has clearly paid off. On actual production days, timing and light accuracy also played a big role.

Lewis Pullman Tom Cruises Top Gun practicing on this beach scene
Courtesy of Skydance

“Learning to deal with Gs is one thing, learning to deal with motion sickness is another. Learning to somehow be able to be truly aware. And there’s a lot of things you have to do the day you’re shooting up there,” Pullman explained to We. “And so to be kind of able to deal with all these different biological changes and environmental changes that are happening and kind of like claustrophobia and you’re up in the air doing crazy maneuvers while trying to get a good performance, got what we needed for the storyline, made sure it was dynamic, made sure the continuity worked, made sure the sun was in the right spot between two and three otherwise shade of the camera [will be] on your face.”

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Other Novice Pilots — Miles Teller, Glen Powell, Monica Barbarian and Jay Ellis — also need to prepare physically. Safe to say, the iconic football beach scene was one of the many reasons why. Pullman, however, kept his shirt on for a strategic reason.

Lewis Pullman Tom Cruises Top Gun practicing on this beach scene
Courtesy of Skydance

“The whole cast was going through some serious impulse battles to prepare for this scene. Everyone was training like crazy. I was playing Bob, who’s a bit more of a library dweller. I was like, you know I think it’s just gonna sound a little dissonant if Bob takes his shirt off and he’s a little ripped I also think Bob wouldn’t take his shirt off I think maybe that’s a thing uncomfortable for him. I think he’s a bit more of a reserved, quiet kind of guy. He kind of likes to watch how things are going before he really inserts himself into a situation,” he said. “And so I was one of the only people who didn’t really punch. I mean, I would go to the gym just for camaraderie. Infamous Glen Powell once did side flies and whispered something very intensely to himself And I was like, ‘Glen, what are you saying?’ He was like, ‘Montage lasts forever.’

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The line, of course, took on a life of its own. It was his mantra. And then everyone started singing that,” he recalls. “But it was a pretty fun storyline to be a part of.”

As to whether his partners were perhaps jealous that he didn’t have to go so hard in the gym, he reflected, “I mean, maybe. But then you see the scene and everyone goes, “Yeah, it was worth it.”