‘Top Gun: Maverick’ star Danny Ramirez talks Tom Cruise as a ‘mentor’ and the film’s ‘unique’ training
“Top Gun: Maverick” star Danny Ramirez is detailing what it was like working with Tom Cruise and reflecting on the “unique” training that he went through in order to prepare for his role as Lieutenant Mickey “Fanboy” Garcia.
“It has been one of the most amazing experiences,” Ramirez told Fox News Digital. “It feels like we went to get our master’s degree and our doctorates.”
Ramirez highlighted the impact Cruise has on moviegoers and how he’s parlayed that into a “mentor” role to the actors he works alongside of.
“I think this is why his movies are so well received,” Ramirez said. “He has the audience in mind. It is a responsibility that like people are giving two hours of their time. And every year he has a movie that millions of people go to watch. And so that responsibility of the sheer amount of hours that people are giving to be taking on this adventure, he passed that down and then since then has been a mentor.”
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"Top Gun: Maverick" star Danny Ramirez is detailing what it was like working with Tom Cruise.
( Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Of Cruise guiding Ramirez, the actor said: “Whenever I have had a project that I’m developing, he gives me notes and like he replies faster than Jay [Ellis] or Glen [Powell] do.
“His notes come in like an hour later, he is like, ‘Read the whole thing. Love this. Actually, I think about this in this way, but hey, up to you.’ And so, these notes are invaluable because he essentially, he just wants us all to become the best storytellers we can.”
“With Tom, the entire time that door was open and his entire wealth of knowledge, he was just giving it away.”
— Danny Ramirez on filming with Tom Cruise
Ramirez also noted that Cruise has an open-door policy when it comes to communication among the cast.
“With Tom, the entire time that door was open and his entire wealth of knowledge, he was just giving it away,” Ramirez shared. “He is like, ‘Take it every question you have.’ The editing room was open on days that I was not shooting. I’d go and shadow Claudio Miranda, who was an Oscar award-winning cinematographer, hovering behind [director] Joe [Kosinski] to see how he makes his decisions. The entire set was just like, ‘It’s a dream come true for anyone that wants to continue to become elite in storytelling, in acting.'”
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As for his training? Ramirez, who ended up piloting an F-18 in the movie, noted that it was “very unique.”
“Yeah, it was. Very unique. It is something that I did not even, when I signed up to do the project, I did not know we were going to go through it,” Ramirez explained. “I was afraid of the flying in the beginning. So then through it, it was just this incremental, I’d say less strict and more [that] everyone just knew [it] was to their best interests to continue this and like and give it their all.
Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Jay Ellis, Danny Ramirez and Tom Cruise attend the Royal Film Performance and UK Premiere of "Top Gun: Maverick" at Leicester Square on May 19, 2022 in London, England.
(Lia Toby/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures)
“I think looking over to the right and to the left of you other cast mates that were giving it their all … And Tom already knew what was needed because during the first one they tried to get some footage in the jets, but they did not have any training.
“So, all the footage they got was of actors passed out in the back seat or had puked everywhere. And so, he knew what we needed. And even though we did puke, we also were able to like to compose ourselves and then continue filming because it was to our stories,” added Ramirez.
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In addition to the one-of-a-kind training he received, Ramirez also admitted he had to get past his fear of flying.
“I just needed two glasses of wine, my Bose headphones, and just to forget that I was there,” Ramirez said of getting over his fear.
Danny Ramirez and Tom Cruise chatting as they arrive for the screening of the film "Top Gun : Maverick" during the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 18, 2022.
(VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
Of one flying scene, Ramirez recalled Cruise telling the cast they were “so good at tolerating G’s that we now need to put a little bit more umph in our face and feel as though we’re suffering more.”
“He’s like, ‘You guys are too comfortable up there now,’ and we’re like, ‘We pulled seven G’s like the entire flight,'” recalled Ramirez. “And it was like this weird thing that our bodies, because of how good the training was, adapted so well that the Top Gun pilots were impressed. And then Tom was like, ‘Turn it up a notch.'”
With “Top Gun: Maverick” becoming the top-billing film of Cruise’s career, Ramirez touched on the possibility of another movie.
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“I mean, who is to say? We will see what happens,” Ramirez said. “We will see what Paramount says. I am not against it. I am sure the people are not against it. But it took a long time to make sure that the story was ready to be told the right way. And I think you will see, like not just making a sequel for the sake of it, right?
“But if there is a place to push the limit, I am sure Tom will find it. And because that is the right way to go about this is if there is a place to go above it.”