Tom Cruise had nothing but glowing praise for Val Kilmer as the two Top Gun co-stars reunite for the highly-anticipated sequel, Top Gun: Maverick. Reprising their roles as Cruise's Pete "Maverick" Mitchell and Tom "Iceman" Kazansky in the film, which premieres in theaters May 27, was a very special experience for Cruise, the actor told Entertainment Tonight at Wednesday's red carpet premiere.
"In the first one, I really rallied hard for him to be in the movie, because he's such a tremendous actor, and [I wanted] to have him play that character," Cruise said of Kilmer, who has been open about his initial hesitation to star in the first Top Gun. "I told [director] Tony [Scott], 'You gotta go and tackle this guy!' I said, 'Val, you gotta make this movie. You're gonna be amazing.' That's the kind of talent that he has."
Bringing Kilmer back for the sequel, Cruise said he and his longtime colleague share one of the most emotional scenes in the movie."You see that scene and it's very special. It's just very special," Cruise shared. "He's beautiful." Miles Teller, who plays Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw in Maverick, agreed, telling Entertainment Tonight, that it was a scene that hits you "right in the feels." He added, "It's a really sensitive scene. It's a sensitive kind of narrative, when you're bringing Val back and having a scene with [his character], Iceman."
Cruise noted just how big of a moment the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick is for fans who have been begging for a sequel for decades. "This is quite a moment. It's been 36 years [in the making] for this film, the fans have been asking for it all around the world... I kept telling the actors, 'It's coming!'" Cruise said. "I kept having to push the film off another year, another year, and I just said, 'Look, we're gonna have a great time when this opens.'"
While Cruise admitted it was "daunting" making sure the new film lives up to expectations, he told everyone working on the sequel, as well as himself, "If you're not sweating bullets doing this film, you shouldn't be on this movie." Top Gun: Maverick premieres in theaters May 27.