Tom Cruise revealed he got just as emotional as fans did during his onscreen reunion with Val Kilmer in Top Gun: Maverick.
The Mission: Impossible star returned as Maverick in the sequel to 1986 action movie Top Gun. In the movie, Cruise’s character Maverick has a scene with his former nemesis Iceman, played by Kilmer, whose ability to speak has been affected following treatment for throat cancer.
In the emotional scene, as he seeks advice on how to handle his working relationship with his late flying partner Goose’s son Rooster, Maverick learns that Iceman has terminal cancer. “I just want to say, that was pretty emotional,” Cruise said during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
“I’ve known Val for decades, and for him to come back and play that character — he’s such a powerful actor that he instantly became that character again,” he continued. “You’re looking at Iceman.”
When Kimmel admitted he cried whilst watching their scene together, Cruise shared he was very moved as well. “I was crying. I got emotional,” he admitted. “He’s such a brilliant actor, and I love his work.”
Cruise reportedly fought to have Kilmer back for the sequel, while the latter also chose to incorporate his real-life illness into the script.
In his memoir, the Batman Forever star explained he approached the producers himself to return as Iceman.
“Tom was Maverick, but Maverick’s nemesis was Iceman. The two went together like salt and pepper,” wrote Kilmer. “It didn’t matter that the producers didn’t contact me. As The Temptations sang in the heyday of Motown soul, ‘Ain’t too proud to beg.'”