Tom Cruise reflects on emotional Val Kilmer reunion while filming Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Tom Cruise has opened up about working with co-star Val Kilmer again in Top Gun: Maverick – and it was an emotional reunion that moved Cruise to tears.

"I just want to say that was pretty emotional," the actor said on Jimmy Kimmel Live (opens in new tab) (via IndieWire (opens in new tab)). "I’ve known Val for decades. For him to come back and play that character… he’s such a powerful actor that he instantly became that character again. You’re looking at Iceman." He added: "I was crying, I got emotional. He’s such a brilliant actor, and I love his work."

Kilmer played Lieutenant Tom "Iceman" Kazansky in 1986's Top Gun, before going on to star in movies like Heat, Batman Forever, and The Island of Dr. Moreau. However, he has retreated from acting in recent years due to complications from throat cancer, which have caused him to lose his voice. In order to speak, he now needs an electric voice box plugged into his trachea, but Maverick director Joseph Kosinski confirmed that Kilmer's real voice was used in the movie, digitally altered for clarity. 

Top Gun: Maverick sees Cruise back as test pilot and flight instructor Captain Pete "Maverick" Mitchell as he sets out to train a group of young pilots, including the son of his late best friend Goose. Cruise is joined by a supporting cast that includes Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, and Glen Powell. The movie is nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Visual Effects.

Next up for Cruise is Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1, which arrives on the big screen on July 14. Part 2 follows on June 28, 2024. In the meantime, fill out your watch list with our guide to all the other most exciting upcoming movies on the way in 2023 and beyond.

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.