‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Star Lewis Pullman Describes Tom Cruise’s Awe-Inspiring Work Ethic

by Samantha Whidden

While continuing to enjoy the success of “Top Gun: Maverick,” Lewis Pullman opens up about the film’s star Tom Cruise’s work ethic on the set. 

As he spoke to Us Weekly, Pullman stated that he had to transform into a sponge and absorb everything that Tom Cruise did. “I mean, he’s a titan. I’ve never seen anyone approach filmmaking the way he does, and I’ve also never seen someone that far into their career who still has such drive, such curiosity, has such passion, has such a reluctance to settle.”

Pullman said that Tom Cruise was so invested in learning about everything, including the smallest scenes. “He seems to have a vast understanding of every particle that goes into making a good movie that everyone around the world can relate to. And so that was just incredible, incredible to watch.”

Meanwhile, Pullman stated that Tom Cruise is not really competing with anyone else when it comes to the film industry. “The only one person that he is really competing with is himself. So to watch somebody have that kind of internal push and pull tug of war is really inspiring and really contagious.”

Lewis Pullman Talks Tom Cruise’s Training Exercises for ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ 

Along with discussing Tom Cruise’s work ethic, Lewis Pullman shared more details about the actor’s training exercises for “Top Gun: Maverick.”

“We had to do all this swim training in order to get certified,” Pullman recalled. “In order to get into a plane that wasn’t even in the movie. But despite all that, despite the challenges, Tom really set up this course himself.”

Pullman further explained that Tom Cruise gave him and the rest of the “Top Gun: Maverick” cast a “gradual” program and it felt manageable. “In this kind of like bite-size digestive portions where it was like, ‘OK, I think I can do this. I think this is absolutely insane, but I think I can do it.

Despite the difficult training, Pullman said the accuracy of timing and light played a significant role in the film. “Learning how to handle G’s is one thing, learning how to handle motion sickness is another thing. Learning how to kind of just be able to be really aware.  And there’s a lot of stuff that you have to do on the day when you’re up there shooting.”

Meanwhile, Pullman discussed why he decided to keep his shirt on during the film’s beach scene. “The whole cast was undergoing some serious battles of impulse to get ready for that scene. Everyone was working out like crazy. I was playing Bob, who’s a bit more of a library dweller.”

Pullman said he believed Bob wouldn’t take his shirt off. “I think that’s kind of maybe an uncomfortable thing for him to do. I think he’s a bit more of a kind of reserved, quiet guy.”