‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Star Val Kilmer Explains How Close He Still Is With Tom Cruise

by Leanne Stahulak

Despite their characters playing rivals in the first film, “Top Gun: Maverick” stars Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer actually share a close bond in real life.

The two first met while working on the original film in 1986. It was inevitable that they would reunite decades later for the sequel film, although Kilmer definitely played a smaller part.

His character, Iceman, received a promotion to Admiral and put in a good word for Cruise’s character Maverick to teach the new generation of pilots. They shared one small scene together where Iceman gave Maverick the encouragement he needed to continue moving forward with the program.

You could tell in the “Top Gun: Maverick” scene that the two truly are friends who would rely on each other in a similar situation if it were to happen in real life. Kilmer spoke with the LA Times about that bond and what it meant to work on the new film together.

“We talked quite a bit about what was best for the story and I think they got it right at the end,” Kilmer wrote to the Times. “We are in touch and exchange Xmas gifts every year!”

Not Christmas cards, but actual gifts for one another. That’s definitely a higher level of friendship than most movie co-stars would say more than 30 years later.

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Star Val Kilmer Shares How It Felt Like ‘No Time Passed’ While Filming Sequel

In another interview earlier this week, “Top Gun: Maverick” star Val Kilmer shared how he jumped at the opportunity to reprise his role as Iceman for the film.

“Tom called me. I said yes immediately,” Kilmer told EW. Even though 36 years passed between the first and second film releases, Kilmer was happy to fall back into familiar habits with Cruise.

“It was like no time had passed at all,” Kilmer said. “We blew a lot of takes laughing so much. It was really fun … special.”

During the 1980s, both Cruise and Kilmer were at high points in their careers. “Top Gun” only solidified their fame, but the two focused more on their friendship than their popularity.

“We were all so young during the making of the first movie, but even then there was a special bond between us all,” Kilmer said. “Even after shooting we would laugh and dance the night away!”

Val Kilmer Discusses How It Felt to See the Film for the First Time

A little over two weeks after its record-breaking premiere, “Top Gun: Maverick” has already blown away several more box office records. Mostly because fans have praised the Tom Cruise film and recommended it via word of mouth. But what did star Val Kilmer think of the sequel when he watched it?

“I was very moved the first time I saw it,” Kilmer said of watching the film. “Almost 40 years is a long time for a reunion. We laughed all day. Tom is great and surprisingly funny!!”

You can catch “Top Gun: Maverick” in theaters now.