Glen Powell Spent 6 Hours Watching a Tom Cruise Video ‘Breaking Down Everything He’s Learned About Filmmaking,’ Says Chris Pratt Helped Open the Door For His Success

Glen Powell told some of his best Tom Cruise stories as part of a cover story interview with GQ UK magazine. The two actors became close friends during the production of “Top Gun: Maverick.” Powell originally auditioned for the role of Rooster, but he was beat out by Miles Teller. Cruise liked Powell and offered him the role of Hangman, but Powell had some notes.

“What we were talking about is, how can Hangman service the story and give the flavor of the original ‘Top Gun’ that you need?” Powell remembered saying to his A-list co-star. “I said my piece to Tom about what I do and what I do well, and he listened. Tom’s a listener. He listens to the crew members, he listens to his collaborators, and he hears people.”

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One of Powell’s most cherished Tom Cruise memories is when Cruise personally flew him back to London via helicopter from Pinewood studios, where the duo were shooting reshoots for “Top Gun: Maverick.” Cruise was flying and pretended the helicopter was going down.

“Tom goes ‘oh no, oh no,’ and he starts dropping the helicopter over London,” Powell said. “I was like, ‘Am I about to be the unnamed guy that dies with Tom in a smoking hole in the middle of London?’”

Another memory is when Cruise sent Powell to a theater in Los Angeles to show him a “film school” video that Cruise had put together for his friends.

“Powell expected to be among a crowd – but no, it was just him alone, in an empty theater. For six hours,” GQ UK reports. “Watching Tom Cruise speak directly to the camera, breaking down everything he’s learned about filmmaking over the years. According to Powell, Cruise has no intention of putting it out into the public sphere.”

“He said, ‘This is just for my friends’,” Powell said. “[In the video 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.’”

Cruise also distilled some important career advice to Powell, telling the younger star that in order for a movie to be a global hit it has to “telegraph universal emotions” and “hit on anxieties that everyone can relate to.”

Powell is finally becoming one of Hollywood’s go-to leading men. He scored a box office hit last year with Sony’s rom-com “Anyone but You” and is front and center as a co-lead in this summer’s tentpole “Twisters.” It’s been a long time coming for the actor, who told GQ UK he screwed up auditions to play Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Han Solo in the “Star Wars” prequel “Solo.”

“I can joke about it now,” Powell said of his “Solo” casting process. “[But] I blew that final audition.”

Powell is no longer interested in superhero roles, although he did say that Batman would most likely be the only one worth his time.

“I was always a Batman guy,” Powell said. “I would have a wild take on Batman. It definitely would not be like a Matt Reeves tone – it’d probably be closer to [Michael] Keaton.

According to Powell, Hollywood became a lot more favorable on him thanks to the success of actors like Chris Pratt in “Guardians of the Galaxy” and Chris Hemsworth in “Thor.”

“I really do feel like a lot of Hollywood is which actors are in vogue,” Powell said. “What everybody does is end up writing to that thing. All of a sudden, when Robert Pattinson pops off, they’re like, ‘We want a brooding Robert Pattinson type.’ You see it in every script.”

Once Pratt found blockbuster success with “Guardians,” Hollywood became more interested in goofier leading men and not just the brooding, self-serious type.

“These guys can take a punch and sell a joke,” Powell said of Pratt and Hemsworth. “I feel like that’s when I started catching friction on the sidewalk.”

Head over to GQ UK’s website to read Powell’s profile in its entirety.

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