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Val Kilmer Reveals What It Was Like Filming ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ With Tom Cruise: ‘We Blew a Lot of Takes Laughing’

Val Kilmer Reveals What It Was Like Filming Top Gun Maverick With Tom Cruise
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Iceman and Maverick back at it! Val Kilmer got real about what it was like filming Top Gun: Maverick with Tom Cruise more than 30 years after they first worked together.

Related: 'Top Gun’ Cast: Where Are They Now?

“It was like no time had passed at all,” Kilmer told Entertainment Weekly on Thursday, June 9.

The 62-year-old actor, who reprised his role as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky in the new film, recalled what the shooting process felt like this time around. “We blew a lot of takes laughing so much,” he said. “It was really fun … special.”

Related: Best — and Hottest! — Behind-the-Scenes Photos From ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Kilmer previously revealed in his 2020 memoir I’m Your Huckleberry that he “didn’t want the part” of Iceman in 1986’s Top Gun until he met with director Tony Scott. Looking back, the Tombstone star is happy he eventually signed on.

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

When it came to working on Top Gun: Maverick, Kilmer didn’t need much persuading. “Tom called me. I said yes immediately,” the California native said of the casting process.

In the 2022 film, Cruise’s Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is asked to return to the Top Gun program and train a new group of skilled pilots. Fans later learn that it is Iceman who requests Maverick’s assistance as they both have worked their way up the ranks since battling it out at Top Gun training 30 years prior.

Related: Top Gun’s Val Kilmer’s Health, Throat Cancer Battle Through the Years

“You had to figure out a way to bring Iceman in,” director Joseph Kosinski told EW. “We met with Val. He had the idea of how to integrate Iceman in a really authentic way.”

Iceman backs up Maverick’s controversial teaching skills despite dealing with an illness that stole his voice in the movie. The story line somewhat resembles Kilmer’s own life. After battling throat cancer, the actor said he can barely speak. Instead, like his character, the Batman Forever star communicates mostly via the written word.

Val Kilmer Reveals What It Was Like Filming Top Gun Maverick With Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise in ‘Top Gun: Maverick.’ Scott Garfield/ Paramount Pictures

Kosinski, 48, and Cruise, 59, made it clear from the beginning that Kilmer’s cameo in the sequel was a must. The scene that reunites Iceman with Maverick for the first time also marked Kilmer and Cruise’s first film interaction in three decades.

“Obviously [we] spent a lot of time on that scene, writing it, getting ready,” the filmmaker said. “I wasn’t sure how it was going to work. … It’s a really beautiful scene. We shot it in Los Angeles in a really beautiful house up on a park. Very special to see not only Val and Tom, but Maverick and Iceman back on the screen together.”

Top Gun: Maverick is in theaters now.

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