‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Star Jay Ellis Opens Up About the Movie’s Incredibly Positive Response

by Taylor Cunningham

Top Gun: Maverick has officially gone down in cinematic history as one of the most loved movies of all time. Three months after its release, it’s still breaking records and taking our breath away. And realizing the monumental success has been one of the most awe-inspiring and gratifying experiences in star Jay Ellis’ career.

Maverick is a follow-up from the 1986 classic. In it, Maverick returns to train a new team of Top Gun graduates ahead of a dangerous and difficult mission—thanks to some encouragement from his old friend, Iceman. And among the grads is Goose’s son, Rooster.

The movie stands as Tom Cruise’s highest grossing ever. It has also surpassed $1 billion in box office sales worldwide and is currently the 6th highest grossing domestic movie of all time.

Ellis, who plays Lt. Reuben ‘Payback’ Fitch, recently sat down with Screen Rant to chat about the film’s monumental success. And in his opinion, Top Gun: Maverick is doing so well because it resonates with audiences all over the globe.

“It’s crazy, man,” he said of Maverick’s fame. “One thing I think is really amazing is no matter where we’ve been, or where I’ve seen the film so far, a lot of the moments that hold up for me, and hold up for us, hold up across the world, regardless of language, regardless of age, there’s so many moments that hold up in this film, which is such an awesome thing. Because it is a film that is truly universal and made for a worldwide audience.”

And Ellis knows what he’s talking about. The actor has actually caught the movie in theaters “11 or 12 times.” He’s caught showings in several different U.S. cities, and he’s also watched it in South Korea and France.

Jay Ellis Says that ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ ‘Reaffirms the Power of Filmmaking’

“You hear a lot of people say that about movies,” he continued. “But when you actually can say that you’ve seen it in multiple countries now, it just reaffirms the power of filmmaking and the power of story and how amazing story can be and how we can entertain people across the world.”

Some of Ellis’ favorite memories come from audiences’ unique reactions. Different crowds laugh at different situations and feel different emotions depending on their culture or country. And the reactions prove how the Top Gun story flows throughout the world.

“It’s really interesting to hear where a South Korean audience laughed versus a French audience versus the Naval audience down in San Diego. It has been interesting to hear these little places where you don’t necessarily see a funny, and people just bust out laughing or chuckling,” he added. “And it’s great.”

You can still catch Top Gun: Maverick in theaters. And for those of you who’d rather stay in, you can now stream the movie on Amazon Video, Apple TV, and Vudu for around $20.