Tom Cruise says that he would have kept Top Gun Maverick in the can for 10 years to get it into theatres.
Tom Cruise says that he would have kept Top Gun Maverick in the can for 10 years to get it into theatres. © Images AGN

Tom Cruise made a rare late-night TV appearance and sat down with Jimmy Kimmel on Friday. They talked about why Cruise wanted “Top Gun: Maverick” to have a long, exclusive theatrical run before it was available to stream (it’s now on Paramount+) and how long he would’ve waited.

On “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Cruise was asked if people in Hollywood were putting pressure on him to put the sequel on streaming during the pandemic, even though the movie wasn’t supposed to come out until June 2020.

Cruise said that he would have been happy to wait 10 years for “Top Gun: Maverick” to come out in theatres.

“I figured the movie studios, investors, or whoever it was told you to put the movie on streaming, but you said no, and you held on to it for two years. You were probably right by a billion and a half dollars,” Kimmel told Cruise, referring to the film’s total earnings at the box office around the world.

As the crowd cheered, Cruise laughed and said, “People have been asking for this movie for 34 years, so I thought a few more years would be fine.”

As he answered Kimmel’s question, Cruise said, “I would have waited 10 years.” “The movie is made to be seen on a screen. I did it for the theatre. We all did. We all did it to be in a play. I wasn’t the only one.”

Cruise told Kimmel that his goal in everything he does is to give the audience the best experience possible.

Cruise said, “When I make a movie, I want to go see it with an audience.” “What I want is for them to really enjoy it. It’s a pleasure to make my movie for audiences and for all of you. I just want to make you laugh.”

Kimmel asked Cruise, “When you go see these movies, do people know who you are?” Cruise said that fans often find him and that he’s happy to take pictures with them.

Kimmel responded, “You always do. You really are very calm. How patient you are with everyone is almost getting on my nerves.”

Kimmel and Cruise also talked about how the 60-year-old actor pulls off dangerous stunts in his movies, especially in the “Mission: Impossible” series. Kimmel said that he thinks it’s important for people to know that Cruise is the only one doing these stunts. He then showed a clip of Cruise jumping out of a helicopter in a remote area.

“You shot that how many times?” Kimmel asked. “That was risky.”

“I jumped off that eight times,” Cruise said. “That’s crazy.”

Cruise added, “I just try to do everything I can and use everything I have to make people laugh. So, when I was a little kid, I used to steal wood from a junkyard and ride down the hill as fast as I could, hitting the ramp and going over garbage cans. It didn’t work.”

Cruise said that he didn’t get the trash cans out of the way; in fact, he ran right into them. But he told Kimmel that his goal has always been to please his audience, from the time he was a child until now.

“Top Gun: Maverick” has been nominated for six Oscars and has made nearly $1.5 billion at the box office.

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