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Featured Image Credit: Paramount Pictures
Miles Teller felt the need for speed on Top Gun: Maverick. However, the movie cashed some checks his body could barely cash. Check out the trailer below:
Tom Cruise is the ultimate movie star. He's one of our greatest living actors, he's a bit of an enigma, and over the past 20 years, his exploits have become legendary, whether it's climbing the Burj Khalifa or driving a motorbike off a massive cliffside ramp.
For the most part, he's been the main action hero. Those in his orbit may be expected to muck in a bit, but not to the same death-defying extent - that is, until Top Gun 2, which pushed its fresh-faced cast and their stomachs to the edge.
The long-awaited sequel sees Cruise return as Maverick, still clinging onto his Captain rank and rankling those above him.
Iceman (Val Kilmer), now a high-ranking admiral, orders him back to Top Gun to train a team of cocky graduates for a mission the likes of which nobody has ever seen - even the top one percent, the elite.
This includes Rooster (Teller), the resentful son of the late Goose, whose history with Maverick is more complicated than you might think.
LADbible sat down with Teller ahead of the movie's release. Maverick boasts the finest aerial photography ever put to screen - but that came at a price.
The cast underwent a five-month training course devised by Cruise himself to prepare them for the intense G-force, which they'd have to withstand while handling their own cameras in the skies.
Teller said it's made him cherish the small things; like a quiet, everyday commercial flight. "If anything I think it made me really appreciate how nice it is not to have to, you know, go 500 knots an hour all the time. I like a flight with very minimal G exposure," he said, laughing.
The actor was candid about the fear he experienced while soaring, plummeting and spinning in an F-18 hornet jet. "I definitely had a moment where I thought I was going to die," he revealed.
"There was a sequence where we were heading straight towards the ground and you do what’s called a max G pull-up.
"You’re heading down and at the last second you yank up, and it’s really tough for the pilot.
"It’s something they train in all the time, but it was the first time we’d done a manoeuvre like that and I completely stopped acting. I looked at the ground, and thought this wasn’t going to end well for me."
And yet, Teller didn't puke once during the movie's production - the same cannot be said for his bag-grabbing co-stars.
He said: "I think when there’s that much adrenaline and a healthy bit of fear, I was able to hold it down. I guess that’s a secret skill I have."
Teller isn't exactly a stranger to going the extra mile for authenticity: Whiplash is as much a drumming showcase as it as acting; he drastically dropped his body fat percentage for Bleed for This; and he went through a 10-day firefighting bootcamp for Only the Brave.
Top Gun: Maverick has opened the door to more stunt-heavy projects for Teller, but he's not aiming for Cruise's calibre of daredevilry.
He said: "I think the reason why Tom does this stuff is because when the audience knows that it’s really you and there’s no cutaways, that the level of immersion you get as a viewer, as a voyeur, is elevated.
"So I’m open to it, but also, I’ve got injured on some films doing some weird things, and when you have a perfectly good stunt guy, I don’t want to put him out of a job, you know? That’s just me being an honest guy."
Maverick tested him physically, but what was tougher: staying in character while his skull and spine were being compressed under five Gs; or having JK Simmons threatening to 'f**k him like a pig' and slapping and screaming in his face in Whiplash?
He said: "I mean, JK is a teddy bear, man. He’s really good at playing that stuff. We had so much making that movie that I could barely tell how intense it was.
"The G tolerance is something I felt every time I did it. At least when JK was yelling at me, I didn’t feel like I was gonna throw up the entire time."
Top Gun: Maverick is out now.