Miles Teller On Joining Top Gun Maverick: “If Tom Cruise Thinks I’m The Right Guy…”

Actor Miles Teller says he was nervous about being a part of Top Gun: Maverick as he had “big shoes” to fill when superstar Tom Cruise cast him as the son of a beloved franchise character. (Also read: Top Gun Maverick Trailer: Tom Cruise zooms in on a fighter jet to the May 27 release date. Watch)

Maverick is a highly anticipated follow-up to the 1986 blockbuster Top Gun, which changed Cruise’s life and career, making him an overnight Hollywood heartthrob for his portrayal of the suave and brash U.S. Navy aviator. USA Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

The sequel introduces Teller, known for some of the recent hits like The Spectacular Now, Whiplash, Bleed for This, and Only The Brave, as Lt. Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw, the son of Maverick’s late best friend Nick “Goose.” Bradshaw, a character who was played by Anthony Edwards in the original.

Tom Cruise, left, and Miles Teller attend a red carpet event for the movie Top Gun: Maverick, in Mexico City. (AP)

Teller, 35, said he was “concerned” about joining the sequel, which was staged on a grand scale, as he has always focused on doing “small scale stuff” in his career.

“I was a little worried about getting into something that was set up to be so big. I’ve been in a couple of big movies, but for the most part I’ve tended to do some smaller scale stuff. So I was nervous about lending myself to that world, but it’s something that I was also incredibly proud of and really honored to be a part of.

“I mean, when Tom Cruise casts you to be his co-star in a movie and to play Goose’s son, those are big shoes to fill. So I felt like if Tom thinks I’m the right guy, then I think I’m the right guy too,” Teller told PTI in a Zoom interview.

The action spectacle is set more than 30 years after the events of the Tony Scott-directed Top Gun and sees Maverick training a group of Top Gun graduates, including Rooster, for a specialized mission.

Teller said he was inspired by the superstar’s “work ethic” and relentless pursuit of perfection.

“Tom never stops working and is never really satisfied with the good or the great. He spends a lot of time on these movies that you see him in. And his work ethic was something that I found really inspiring,” he added.

For Teller, Top Gun: Maverick is yet another movie where he could go further with his character, something he’s previously done in movies like Whiplash, Bleed for This and Only The Brave.

“I think in my life I’m pretty laid back. So these movies and certain performances give me the opportunity to go to the extreme that you can’t go to in life. You can do some things through these scenes that if you were going to do in real life, people would be like, “Oh my gosh! This guy is so dramatic or this guy is too intense.

“So I tend to gravitate towards those roles. I love when the stakes are high, I really enjoy movies that aren’t afraid to go a little bit higher,” Teller added.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie and David Ellison.

The film also stars Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Charles Parnell, Bashir Salahuddin, Monica Barbaro, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez, Greg Tarzan Davis with Ed Harris, and Val Kilmer.

The Paramount Pictures film is exclusively distributed in India by Viacom18 Studios and will open in theaters on May 27.

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