Tom Cruise Pranks Glen Powell While Flying A Helicopter

May 31, 2024 8:00 am in by Trinity Miller

Tom Cruise is known for his daredevil antics both on and off-screen, but this time he took his high-flying antics to a new level. Glen Powell, who starred as Lt. Jake “Hangman” Seresin in Top Gun: Maverick, shared a hair-raising story about how Cruise once pranked him by pretending their helicopter was going to crash.

Powell reminisced about the time they were flying back to London after some reshoots at Pinewood Studios. Cruise, who holds a pilot’s licence and flew several aircraft during the filming of Top Gun: Maverick, decided to have a little fun. “Tom goes ‘oh no, oh no,’ and he starts dropping the helicopter over London,” Powell recalled. “I thought, ‘Is this how it ends? Am I about to become the unnamed guy who dies with Tom Cruise in a smoking crater in London?'”

US actor Tom Cruise arrives in a helicopter to the world premiere of “Top Gun: Maverick!” aboard the USS Midway in San Diego, California on May 4, 2022. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
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Cruise: The Mentor with Maverick Moves

Despite the high-flying prank, Powell holds Cruise in high regard, viewing him as a mentor and friend. Powell, who nearly went broke waiting for Top Gun: Maverick to hit theatres due to pandemic delays, credits Cruise with pushing him to learn the ins and outs of the movie industry. Cruise even took Powell to a special “film school” movie screening he produced for his friends, teaching him the nuances of filmmaking and flying.

Flying Lessons and Life Lessons

The lessons didn’t stop at filmmaking. Cruise, ever the educator, gave Powell a crash course (pun intended) in aviation. “Tom put together this entire flight school for me,” Powell said. “He would explain everything from how a plane works to the principles of air pressure.” This mentorship extended beyond the technical, as Cruise also imparted wisdom about storytelling and connecting with audiences.

From Top Gun to Big Breaks

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Powell’s role in Top Gun: Maverick proved to be his big break, but it wasn’t without its challenges. Initially, he intended to turn down the role after losing out on the part of Rooster, which went to Miles Teller. However, Cruise, always the listener, reworked Powell’s character, Hangman, to better suit his abilities and elevate the film.

Cruise’s influence on Powell’s career has been profound. After the success of Maverick, Powell has landed roles in upcoming blockbusters like Hit Man and Twisters. The actor, who got his start in Spy Kids 3: Game Over, is now a rising star, thanks in no small part to Cruise’s mentorship and, of course, that unforgettable helicopter prank.

Tom Cruise’s blend of humour, mentorship, and sheer daredevil spirit has not only left an indelible mark on Glen Powell’s career but has also given us a tale of high-flying hijinks that will be remembered for years. As Powell gears up for his next big roles, he can look back on his time with Cruise as a period of immense growth, both professionally and personally, with a few laughs (and scares) along the way.


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