‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Star Glen Powell Recalls Immense ‘Pressure’ Filming Iconic Sequel

by Alex Falls

Glen Powell won the acting gig of a lifetime when he landed his role as Hangman in Top Gun: Maverick. The film drew huge acclaim and raked in a ton of dough at the box office and Powell became instantly recognizable almost overnight. 

Powell spoke to People and said he’s “still pinching” himself after the film’s unprecedented success. While he’s “very grateful” to be involved in the project, he did say there’s a great deal of pressure that came with filming the movie. Powell said Top Gun star Tom Cruise gave him some valuable advice when it comes to dealing with that pressure.

“Tom said this phrase, ‘Pressure’s a privilege.’ When there’s [an] expectation on something, it also means there’s a lot of opportunity,” Powell said.

Powell said Crusie was an “endless source of wisdom and advice” for the entire cast and crew of the film. And the legendary actor doesn’t stop there. According to Powell, Cruise continues to be a mentor today even long after filming ended.

“You just never know if someone’s going to continue being in your life after you wrap a movie, it’s just sort of hit or miss,” Powell says. “I’ve just been grateful [for] how Tom has been so involved in my career and how he checks in to make sure the changing of my life is going well and to see what I’m working on next and if I need any help with it. He’s just such a special friend. I’m just so grateful that he’s as cool, if not cooler, than you would hope he’d be.”

Glen Powell’s Film Education

The actor said his film education went to the “next level” after working with Cruise as well as producer Jerry Bruckheimer. He “learned from the greats” while being challenged as an actor. While at the same time trying to live up to the expectations of fans.

“When you have a movie the size of Top Gun, there’s a lot of expectations on how you play a certain character. You don’t want to be a derivative. You don’t want to be stuck in the ’80s. You’re trying to figure out a way to update things. When you have that amount of expectations, there are a lot of ways to miss. There are a lot of ways to fail.”

“Everybody put everything they had into making sure this movie was great,” Powell continued. “It’s fun to rewatch the movie and see how well it turned out and how people are responding to it because it reminds you that all the different decisions and all the choices and all the thought and work that went into that. Even something like the beach scene, you’re like, ‘Okay, cool. I’m glad we’re viral on TikTok. I’m glad those sit-ups weren’t for nothing.'”