Tom Cruise Reveals He Goes Undercover to See His New Movies in Theaters

by Suzanne Halliburton

If you buy a ticket to Top Gun: Maverick, look over your shoulder to see if Tom Cruise is sitting in the row behind you or somewhere else in the theater.

Cruise acknowledged that he likes to duck into movie theaters when his films are on the screen. “I put on my cap and I sit in the audience,” he told the journalists who gathered at the Cannes Film Festival last week to listen to the star’s Q & A.

Cruise wants to see how the audience reacts to what they see on screen. Maybe it’s an ego thing. Or maybe, the always meticulous Cruise takes mental notes for upcoming productions. He is a stickler for details. Like, did you know that Tom Cruise actually flew his own plane during the filming of Top Gun: Maverick. He also wanted the younger actors to ride with the superstar Naval aviators to train for their scenes. Yes, some got really sick, Glen Powell, who plays Hangman, admitted to throwing up as the pilot unexpectedly flipped the plane.  

A reporter at Cannes asked Cruise about doing his own stunt work and why he would attempt such crazy tricks. (He is coming up on 60 this summer).

“Nobody asks Gene Kelly, ‘Why do you dance?” Cruise quipped. So doing the ol’s soft shoe in Singin’ in the Rain is akin to flying an F-18. Totally the same thing.

Tom Cruise, seen here in London, has been on a whirlwind publicity tour for Top Gun: Maverick (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

Tom Cruise finally will get the chance to show off Top Gun: Maverick to a broad audience starting this Friday. And it should be blockbuster. Analysts believe the box office receipts for opening weekend should better the total of the 2017 film, The Mummy, the Cruise film which generated nearly $170 million in its initial weekend. Just for some fun context, the original Top Gun was the highest grossing movie of 1986. On opening weekend, the movie generated $8.2 million on its way to a $354 million worldwide gross for the year.

Cruise insisted that his movie go solely on the big screen, as opposed to dropping on a streaming service as well. Many movies needed to do this the last two years because of the pandemic. Cruise was adamant he would not do this.

“I make movies for the big screen,” Cruise said. The actor also added that he promised theater owners he’d bring them business. “I’ve spent a lot of time with theater owners. The people that serve the popcorn, the ones who make this (movie experience) happen.”

He told theater owners “please, I know what you’re going through. Just know we are making Mission: Impossible’and Top Gun is coming out.”

Cruise started filming consecutive installments of the Mission Impossible franchise last summer. And finally, after special premieres in San Diego, Cannes and London, the world can see Tom Cruise reprise his role in Top Gun: Maverick.