Learning from a pro. While reflecting on his Top Gun: Maverick role, Glen Powell credited Tom Cruise for helping him elevate his performance as Jake “Hangman” Seresin.
During Variety’s “Actors on Actors,” which was published on Tuesday, December 13, Powell, 34, opened up to Kate Hudson about the advice he received from Cruise, 60, about sticking the landing on screen.
“Sometimes you can fall into the trap of wanting to be liked on camera,” the Texas native shared. “And in a movie like this, where you know there’s going to be a lot of eyes on it, you don’t want to be Draco Malfoy.”
According to Powell, Cruise suggested that he lean into being the antihero of the movie. “For the ending to work, you have to completely lean into that. Everybody else in the movie is questioning their own ability,” the actor recalled hearing from his costar. “You’re the only guy that’s not questioning it. So, if there’s any sort of apology in anything you say, the movie doesn’t work. Lean into the douchebaggery of it all.”
Powell later joked that he keeps “getting cast as a douchebag” in projects, adding, “Even the thing I did with [Oliver Hudson, Kate’s brother] in Scream Queens, where I’m a super douche.”
Earlier this year, the Set It Up star appeared in Top Gun: Maverick alongside Cruise, Miles Teller, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Connelly and Jon Hamm. Powell also worked on the aviation film titled Devotion, which included Jonathan Majors, Daren Kagasoff and Joe Jonas.
The Scream Queens alum praised Cruise for his support when it came to both endeavors.
“I found that [Devotion] book and developed that for five years, so when I missed out on the Rooster role, the conversation I had with Tom was, ‘Hey, I didn’t get this role, but I actually have a naval aviation movie I’ve been developing. Maybe that’s just what I’m going to do,'” he shared on Tuesday. “And he convinced me that there’s room for two. And I’m really happy, because everything I learned on Top Gun got to be infused into Devotion.”
Powell previously offered a glimpse at the filming process for Top Gun: Maverick — including the iconic football scene.
“I remember having to guard Tom during the beach football scene and I was blown away,” he detailed to Men’s Journal in June. “I like to think I’m pretty fast, but Tom is just so fast. The fact that he’s getting close to 60 years old and is sprinting on the beach is insane. I mean, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.”
He continued: “So when he talks about how he works out and how he eats, of course, I’m going to listen. The truth is he has tremendous discipline in all aspects of his life. He’s disciplined in how he treats his body and what he puts into his body. Tom’s diet principles — which is a lot of lean fish and veggies — make a lot of sense to me. And I don’t think there was a day when he didn’t work out.”
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