Tom Cruise may be the last man in Hollywood who can get a studio to pay for the glitz and spectacle of a movie premiere, and he made sure Paramount put on a big show for the "Top Gun: Maverick" premiere in San Diego.
The USS Midway, once the largest ship in the world and now a Navy museum in San Diego, hosted the cast and crew for a spectacular event that was streamed live on YouTube.
Cruise caught the flying bug when he made the first "Top Gun" movie; he's been an avid aviator ever since and now flies his own World War II-vintage P-51. Any fan of the "Mission: Impossible" series knows the guy will find any excuse for an action scene that takes place during flight. Cruise has made a HALO (high altitude, low opening) jump, held on for his life on the outside of a plane as it took off and fought a wicked helicopter battle over frozen tundra.
That's why his red-carpet entrance in a helicopter with "Top Gun: Maverick" branding on the side shouldn't surprise anyone. The rest of the cast and crew used the gangway, but our real-life Maverick needed something a bit more dramatic.
Neither "Danger Zone" nor "Playing with the Boys" return from the first movie and Kenny Loggins didn't record a new song for "Top Gun: Maverick," but that didn't stop the 74-year-old singer from getting in on the premiere action. There was no sign of Lady Gaga on the Midway, but Loggins showed up to make sure everyone remembers what a guy who makes rousing movie anthems looks like.
Movie stars are notoriously short, but actor Miles Teller, who plays Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw, is 6' 1/2" and towers over the 5' 7" Tom Cruise in real life. Rooster's dad, Nick "Goose" Bradshaw, was played by the 6' 2" Anthony Edwards in the original "Top Gun."
Jennifer Connelly shows up in "Top Gun: Maverick" to help solve one of the original movie's greatest mysteries. Just who was the admiral's daughter, Penny Benjamin, and what was going on between her and Mav before he met Charlie?
The Midway may have been decommissioned in 1992, but it has enjoyed a long and meaningful retirement as one of the best military museums in the world. Hosting a movie premiere is no big deal.
Paramount Studios shares a parent company with MTV, so the studio brought the MTV News team onboard to handle the red carpet interviews. The reporters threw softballs, and the cast and crew blasted them all into the stratosphere. If you want to watch a replay of the entire event, it's embedded below.
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