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]