On the Top Gun: Maverick set, Tom Cruise described how emotional his reunion with Val Kilmer was.
Kilmer co-starred with Cruise in the original Top Gun in 1986 and was diagnosed with cancer in 2015. Kilmer is cancer-free after enduring chemotherapy and two tracheotomies, but he speaks through a voice box.
In Maverick, when he was reunited with Cruise, his character, Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, was seen communicating through a computer due to an unidentified ailment.
“I simply wanted to express how emotional that was. “I’ve known Val for decades,” Cruise stated on Jimmy Kimmel Live! recently.
“For him to return and play that character… He’s such a talented actor that he instantly transformed back into that role. You are staring at Iceman.”
“I was sobbing. I got emotional,” Cruise said. “He’s a fantastic actor, and I adore his work.”
Iceman is Maverick’s main competitor in the military aviation training program in the original Top Gun. After saving Iceman’s life, Maverick gains Iceman’s respect, prompting Kilmer to say the classic statement, “You can be my wingman anytime.”
Kilmer, 63, uploaded a still from the film on Instagram last year with the touching caption: “36 years later… I’m still your sidekick.
Cruise stated that he “fought hard” to get Kilmer cast in the first action film.
Top Gun: Maverick was the highest-grossing film of 2022; it is the 11th highest-grossing film in history and has been nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards this year.
Steven Spielberg hailed Cruise for saving “Hollywood’s ass” during the Academy Awards nominees luncheon earlier this month.
“Seriously. “Maverick has the potential to save the entire theatre industry,” the director informed the actor.