‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Star Miles Teller Praises Active Military: ‘It’s Incredibly Admirable’

by Taylor Cunningham

Top Gun: Maverick star Miles Teller is saluting our U.S. military members.

Teller is currently enjoying unprecedented fanfare for his role as Lt. Bradley ‘Rooster’ Bradshaw in the sequel to the 1986 Top Gun. And playing a Navy elite has opened his eyes to the challenges of the men and women in active duty.

While chatting with the Associated Press this week, he said a few words about the “admirable career.”

“When I left New Jersey, I grew up in a pretty small town in Florida. And a lot of my buddies right now are active military,” Teller shared. “I think it’s, ya know, been a wonderful career for them and they really enjoy it.”

As he continued, he recognized that movies like Top Gun: Maverick glamorize the armed services, especially the Navy. He noted that when the original movie debuted, “the sale of aviators and kids wanting to be fighter pilots went way up.”

However, Miles Teller is proud to have worked on a project that makes people consider making a career out of the military.

“It’s tough. What these people do for a living is really tough,” he continued. “But sure, I think if it inspires people to wanna do that, 100%.”

Miles Teller Underwent a Rigorous ‘Top Gun’ Training

While Miles Teller could never fully understand the demands of the military without actually serving himself, he is one step closer to the process than the rest of us.

To star in the movie, Tom Cruise made all his actors go through actual Top Gun training. And Teller’s personal trainer, Jason Walsh, was on hand to witness just how rigorous that training was.

“I knew Tom was gonna put these guys through it and he definitely did,” Walsh told PEOPLE on June 16. “You can see it on their face. When they’re doing this, they’re not faking it. This is real.”

To get the guys ready to film, Cruise had real Navy pilots instruct flight training classes for three months. And the actors also worked with fitness specialists like Walsh to get their bodies into prime shape.

“Tom is a huge advocate of making sure that these guys are really put through the rigors and the tests,” he continued. “They were actually in these jets … so [it was about] physical preparation, just getting strong, moving well, make sure physically he was very fit.”

“He took everything very seriously. He was very professional,” Walsh said of Miles Teller. “You could just tell that this had this thing that was really going to require and push him to his limits physically. And the payoff was, you know, an incredible movie.”