It’s a warm, early fall evening in New Orleans, and the cast and crew of Hitman, a forthcoming Richard Linklater-directed movie starring (and written and produced by) the actor Glen Powell, are just gearing up for a night that will stretch until 4:00 AM. To keep everyone fueled into the morning, Powell and his co-star Adria Arjona have paid for a visit from an espresso truck. After approaching the bright red truck and ordering a coffee through the window, Powell, dressed in the dark clothing he’s wearing for that night’s scenes, heads back towards the set. As he walks away, the barista, a wave of familiarity washing across her, poses a question to those still in line. “What was the name of that guy? The good-looking one in the shirt? I recognize his face.” A few moments later, it will dawn on her: “That was the friggin’ hottie from Top Gun!”
This seems to be happening to Powell more frequently, since donning a jumpsuit as Jake “Hangman” Seresin in Top Gun: Maverick. Not just getting recognized, which happens two or three times a day now, Powell says. But being almost recognized, which suggests something a little more interesting: that Powell is the sort of actor who is right on the cusp of being absolutely everywhere. (An Austin native and lifelong University of Texas fan, Powell recently approached UT legend and former NFL quarterback Vince Young to tell the QB that he was a fan, only to have Young give him a quizzical, confused look. Later, Powell opened up Instagram to find a DM from Young: “Dude, sorry, I realized you were the guy from Top Gun while we were talking.”)
If you were one of those who knew of Powell before he was friggin’ hot in Top Gun, it’s likely from one of the many well-played supporting roles he’s had in recent years: as one half of the enduringly likeable couple in the Netflix rom-com Set It Up; as a witty, cerebral 1970’s college baseball player in Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some; as John Glenn in the Best Picture-nominated Hidden Figures. But it was playing “Hangman,” an arrogant hot shot you’re not supposed to like but who’s so square-jawed and charming you can’t help but root for anyway, that subjected his Hollywood ascent to increased G-forces. [More at Source]
WHEN GLEN POWELL heard there was going to be a Top Gun sequel, he didn’t have a ton of internal debate: he wanted in. After all, it was his father showing him the original Top Gun—which became his favorite movie, starring who would become his favorite actor, Tom Cruise—that made him want to become an actor in the first place. How determined was Powell to be in Top Gun: Maverick? He started learning how to live like a pilot months before even auditioning, heading to Edwards Air Force Base to fully immerse and live with aviators in order to see how they do what they do every single day. It also meant turning down offers for other major movies before he was even cast in this one. He was set on Top Gun: Maverick, and the role in his sights was Rooster, the son of Tom Cruise’s gone-but-not-forgotten best friend, Goose, from the original Top Gun. And then something he wasn’t expecting happened: Miles Teller got the part.
After months and months of prep—which ended up overlapping with the release of Set It Up, the Netflix romantic comedy that jettisoned his career into a new stratosphere—he auditioned for Maverick producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Joseph Kosinsky, and Cruise himself. And it wasn’t going to happen. “I felt like I really delivered, and when I didn’t get it, I was absolutely heartbroken,” he says. “I got the news on July 3rd, and on July 4th, which is pretty much my favorite holiday—I’m a very patriotic dude from a very patriotic family—I was basically in the fetal position the entire day.”
The powers that be were impressed enough with what Powell showed them, however, that they did want him for another part in the movie, the role that would eventually become a character named “Hangman” (Ahead of the Top Gun: Maverick release, Hangman is still shrouded in mystery; fan theories online speculate on his connection, if any, to previous Top Gun lore, but those involved with the film have been tight-lipped). Powell’s heart was still set on Goose’s son, though, and he wasn’t sure there was any fit in the movie other than the one he had become so attached to. It’s somewhere we’ve all been before: when you want something so badly, and for one reason or another it just doesn’t work out. Is it worth it taking something slightly less, or slightly different from what you wanted? Or is it better to just cut your losses and move on? That’s the choice Powell found himself facing. [More at Source]
In Richard Linklater’s 2016 film Everybody Wants Some!!, a comedy about college baseball players set at the fictional Southeast Texas University, a smooth-talking ladies’ man named Finnegan hits on a coed by telling her his astrological sign. He’s a loyal and confident Leo, but, he confesses with a carefully rehearsed look of bashfulness, “the truth is, I wound easily.”
Finnegan is a bit of a playboy, but Glen Powell plays him with such charm that you want to be friends with him anyway. The 33-year-old Austin native has since portrayed astronaut John Glenn in Hidden Figures and won hearts in the Netflix rom-com Set It Up; more recently, he teamed up with Linklater again on the nostalgic Apollo 10½: A Space Age Childhood. On May 27, you can catch him in Top Gun: Maverick as Hangman, a pilot training for a specialized mission under Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, reprised by Tom Cruise.
Texas Monthly: You’ve been in Los Angeles for fourteen years. Is it easy for you to identify Texans out there?
Glen Powell: Oh, yeah. Texans head out there feeling like they’re going to take over the world. I also find that Texans, more than anyone, are undeterred when s— inevitably goes wrong. There’s a thing about Texans: you get punched in the nose, and you go back in the fight.
TM: It’s been two years since Top Gun: Maverick’s release was postponed. What’s it been like waiting for the rest of the world to see it?
GP: It’s been a slow decay of my looks, you know? (laughs) The experience feels so far away, but the cool part is we’re putting real fighter jets eighteen inches away from each other. It’s visceral—you feel complete investment in the well-being of the characters in a way that you don’t get in other movies. When movies get bigger, sometimes they lose emotion. And this one maintains it. [More at Source]
Glen Powell is a straight shooter. A Texas boy in fact, Austin. Just talking to him and hearing his voice speak from the heart, I can tell he’s not the type of person to make things up. Not possible. But I have to say I’m the lucky one here because I know Powell is going to break millions of hearts when he finally ties the knot.
But for now, we’ll concentrate on his latest project, Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel to the 1986 Tom Cruise megafilm, Top Gun. Powell will star alongside Cruise, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, and Val Kilmer. For Powell, it’s personal. The release date has been set for May 27th, 2022.
“Top Gun has been one of three seminal movies that made me want to be an actor. And Tom Cruise is the guy that I looked at as that’s who I want to be. And so knowing that Top Gun was coming down the pipeline, I was preparing and over-preparing. I went and lived with a bunch of pilots, I went to Edwards Air Force Base. I went to Miramar. I was like a full fighter pilot by the time I auditioned for Tom Cruise and did the test with them. And the test was to play Bradley Bradshaw, who is Goose’s son [Goose was played by Anthony Edwards in the original film]. And it was me, and it was Miles Teller, and it was Nicholas Hoult. And essentially I auditioned and we really laid it all on the field and I felt so good after it. I got calls from the casting director saying it looks like it’s going in my direction.”
Then he got the call he didn’t get it. Went to Miles Teller. “I love this job and I understand it’s just a business and when you get a role it just happens. It’s not personal and nobody’s trying to hurt you. But this one felt like a drum roll my entire life, this is the movie I wanted to make since I was a kid. Since I saw it when I was 10 years old. And so and that’s when I became an actor literally. I saw this movie when I was 10. And I became an actor and I wanted to be in acting classes when I was 10. So this one felt particularly personal and my favorite holiday is basically July 4. I’m very a patriotic dude. I come from a patriotic family and I basically spent that July 4 in a fetal position. And I’ll never forget it, I couldn’t even muster myself up off the ground. And that’s never happened to me before.”
As soon as he made peace with it, Powell started tweeting, saying that he was going to “take down all the Tom Cruise posters off my walls. Maybe I’ll just keep a couple. Fine, the posters are staying.” A lot of people thought that was really funny and a week later he got a call while at a friend’s wedding in Napa, an unknown number, and it was Tom Cruise.
“He’s like, ‘Hey man it’s Tom, are you around? I just wanna talk to you about what you did in the room. It was unbelievable. It was such a hard decision to make. You are fantastic and I want to find something to do together. Find something to build together.’ He’s just such a good guy for making this call. No one does that. It’s what makes Tom Cruise so special as a person.” [More at Source]
GLEN POWELL HAS CARVED OUT QUITE THE RESUME during his 10-plus years as a working actor in Hollywood. He’ll be the first one to tell you that the path from his home state of Texas to Los Angeles hasn’t always been rainbows and lollipops. Fortunately, there have been significantly more hits than misses (or missteps) unlike some other young Hollywood actors of his generation.
Glen’s been honing his craft ever since he arrived in Tinseltown, and he’s known as a highly skilled actor, and burgeoning writer and producer.
Glen was an essential player in the FOX horrorcomedy- slasher TV series Scream Queens in the mid- 2000’s. His film appearances have included roles in The Dark Night Rises and Expendables 3, and he starred in Richard Linklater’s coming-of-age comedy Everybody Wants Some!!
His portrayal of John Glenn in the 2017 Academy Award-nominated film Hidden Figures garnered him major looks. It wasn’t a gigantic role, but his performance was executed with star power in an important film. And it was noticed.
All of the above is well and fine, but 2022’s highly anticipated Top Gun: Maverick is set to go kaboom in May—for the film and for Glen Powell. He’s in the mix with a cast to die for: Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly and Miles Teller.
Powell’s powerful audition for the film led him to a “secret” role in the movie. Along with a couple of other co-stars, he’s remained quiet about some particulars about his character.
Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with Glen about where he’s been, where he is now, and where he’d like to go. [More at Source]
As the world waits with bated breath for “Top Gun: Maverick” we chat with Glen Powell about being part of this cinematic masterpiece and delve into his past and previous works. Glen Powell is about to The original “Top Gun” was groundbreaking calls me over to his trailer with my mom ride into the danger zone as “Top Gun: Maverick” finally has a theatrical release date. In this highly- anticipated sequel to the 1986 blockbuster “Top Gun,” Powell plays as “Hangman,” one of the naval aviators set to take to the skies together with Tom Cruise’s “Maverick” in what is expected to be one of the most celebrated flicks of the year—if not the decade. Of course, Powell has several other upcoming titles that he’s happy to share with us, along with some unique insight into his profession in what is arguably one of our most engrossing interviews in a long time.
DAMAN: Hi Glen, thank you for having us and hope you’re doing great. So, what keeps you busy these days?
Glen Powell: As you know, Hollywood will kick you out the door as soon as you let it, so I’m spending a lot of time developing my own material so that I can build the career and make the movies that got me into this business in the first place. Learning from my heroes like Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Kevin Costner and Robert Redford: They didn’t rely on luck; they created their own luck. Hollywood may still kick me out, but at least I’m doing my part.
DA: Last we checked, “Top Gun: Maverick” is set to premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in May. How excited are you that the movie is finally being released?
GP: I think I would probably be a lot less upset every time the movie got pushed if “Top Gun: Maverick” wasn’t so damn good. This movie is like keeping the greatest secret of all time. It’s truly like nothing you have ever seen before. And I can’t wait to finally unleash it on the world. And think after this pandemic that everyone on this planet has gone through, we appreciate the theatrical experience more than ever. And my God this is going to rock every theater in the world.
DA: All in all, what can audiences expect from this movie when it comes out? Especially moviegoers who grew up with the original “Top Gun”…
GP: It is so rare that a movie like this comes along. A movie that is massive and still emotional. One that is adventurous and romantic. One that delivers you jaw- dropping spectacle but also will make you cry. This movie is why you make movies. for its time and turned Tom Cruise into a household name. This movie is over 30 years of Tom Cruise operating at the highest level of Hollywood leading men and taking all of that experience and putting it in one film. He said he would never make a sequel to “Top Gun” unless he could beat it. I am a huge fan of the original, but I think we beat it.
DA: Speaking of which, what is your impression of the 1986 original? And then, how would you describe the connection between “Top Gun” and “Top Gun: Maverick”?
GP: The original “Top Gun” is one of the reasons that I became an actor in the first place. It is really hard to watch that movie and not want to be a movie star or a fighter pilot. Tom Cruise set off a lot of young people on the path to both. The best part is we are not trying to reboot “Top Gun.” We are not trying to re-create the story of the first movie—you just can’t do it. This is a sequel following Maverick’s journey all these years later. He’s still completely a maverick and having to learn that he can’t go fast forever at some point even the greatest pilots have to land. [More at Source]
Whether piloting jets or landing on the moon, Glen Powell is unabashedly soaring to new heights. Continuing his supersonic streak, Powell gears up for his long-awaited blockbuster—Top Gun: Maverick. “It’s the greatest version of icing the kicker… ever,” jokes actor Glen Powell reflecting on the twice-delayed debut of the highly anticipated Top Gun: Maverick. Having completed filming in 2019, the release of the epic undertaking from Paramount Pictures was put on hold due to the pandemic. Without batting an eye, Powell promises that the film, which is now set to hit theaters May 27, will be well worth the wait. “This movie delivers on every level. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. It’s a true testament to why movies are made.”
Originally from Austin, the charismatic Powell studied at the University of Texas at Austin at the Department of Radio, Television and Film. Cultivating his craft from an early age, Powell first sank his teeth in the biz with smaller roles on television and in films. It wasn’t long, however, before he started making a name for himself on the scene. He secured a part in the Denzel Washington-directed movie The Great Debaters, which Powell credits as the role that gave him the confidence to know his childhood dream would in fact turn into a tangible career path. From there, it was game on.
Spanning from The Expendables 3 to Hidden Figures, Powell has shared the spotlight with some of the most iconic names in the industry—Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Octavia Spencer, Kevin Costner—need we say more? He has certainly found himself on the ride of a lifetime. When asked what has really struck a chord throughout his experience thus far, the charmer notes, “Kevin Costner really took me under his wing while we were filming Hidden Figures, where he shared something that has stuck with me. He [said], ‘As an actor, you have a beautiful responsibility for putting stories out in the world.’” From that point on, I started to look at and read scripts differently, making sure I would be proud of the ideas that these films represent. I just try and be really deliberate about my choices.” [More at Source]
Name: Glen Powell
SXSW project: Richard Linklater’s “Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood”
Notable past credits: “Hidden Figures” and “Scream Queens”
On getting to play Austin tour guide: “This festival has been in my backyard my entire life. As Austin evolves, grows and changes, it’s still fun to show Austin to people who haven’t been, and so I get to see it for the first time through other people’s eyes.”
What he loves about SXSW: “People root for each other here in a different way than any other festival,” he says. “When you premiere something at South By, it’s rowdy. It’s fun. It’s film lovers who are unashamed of loving movies and clapping for each other and cheering for each other.”
Powell, who grew up in Austin, stars in fellow Texas native Linklater’s animated feature “Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood.” The movie, which was filmed live at Austin Studios on a green screen later animated using a rotoscoping style, was inspired by a childhood dream.
“When he was in second grade, [Linklater] had this dream that he was a part of the Apollo mission and sent into space,” Powell says. “And so he mixes real-life footage and real moments from the Apollo mission with the dream of a second grader going to the moon.”
Powell is excited to share the film, which will be released by Netflix, both with adults who grew up during the space-race era as well as kids. “Hopefully kids watch this movie and go, ‘Wow.’ What we can do with the power of brain. Not the power of celebrity, not the power of TikTok, not the power of fame or followers or any of that stuff, but the power of mind.”
The actor plays a NASA agent in the film, who recruits a 10-year-old boy for a space mission after building the capsule too small to fit an adult. “[My character] has to get saved by a kid,” says Powell, adding that he’s excited to be part of a legacy of movies in which the kids get to be the hero, despite being surrounded by adults. “I feel like that’s such a magical thing for kids to see on screen,” he adds. [More at Source]