Glen Powell Recalls Tom Cruise Pranking Him by Pretending to Lose Control of Helicopter, Dropping Altitude

For a moment, Powell thought he was "about to be the unnamed guy that dies with Tom."

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Glen Powell has a few hilarious memories from his time working with Tom Cruise on Top Gun: Maverick.

In an interview with Ben Allen for GQ Magazine, Powell revealed that Cruise once pranked him by pretending to lose control of his helicopter.

"Tom goes 'oh no, oh no,' and he starts dropping the helicopter over London," shared Powell, who noted that Cruise personally flew him from London to Pinewood Studios for Top Gun reshoots. "I was like, 'Am I about to be the unnamed guy that dies with Tom in a smoking hole in the middle of London?'"

Cruise, who frequently jumps at the chance to do his own stunts in the Mission: Impossible series, is a licensed helicopter pilot and piloted a P-51 Mustang, which he also owns, during one of the pivotal scenes in Maverick.

Elsewhere in the interview, Powell revealed that Cruise showed him a six-hour "film school" movie that he shows to his collaborators and friends.

"He said, 'This is just for my friends,'" said Powell. "[Cruise] is like: 'Do we all agree that this is what a camera is? This is the difference between a film camera and a digital camera…' The funniest part is on flying. It was like he put together this entire flight school. So he would literally go 'OK, this is what a plane is. Here’s how things fly. Here's how air pressure works.'"

Powell is also a licensed pilot, something Cruise gave him as a Christmas present, as the actor revealed in 2021.

"I thought I could be Tom Cruise," said Powell, who added that he hasn't taken to the skies quite as often as Cruise has. "He has a helicopter and he’s flying actual jets. If I have to pop over to New York or Texas, in this SR-22 [a relatively modest five-seater, one-engine aircraft], it’ll take me forever."

He considers Cruise a good friend and said they were able to bond over their obsession with movies.

"That was our love language on set. I got to watch a guy who knew every department," he said. "He was able to clearly interface with everyone, and be so friendly and respectful and be able to communicate that vision."

Powell's got a big summer lined up following the success of the 2023 romantic comedy Anyone But You, in which he starred opposite Sydney Sweeney. First up is the Richard Linklater-directed action-comedy Hit Man, which hits Netflix on June 7, followed by Twisters on July 19.

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