Top Gun Sequel, Cruise Blow Away Cannes

Star unexpectedly receives Palme d'Or, movie fest's most esteemed prize, for 'Top Gun: Maverick'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2022 8:11 AM CDT
Top Gun Sequel, Cruise Blow Away Cannes
Tom Cruise departs after the premiere of the film "Top Gun: Maverick" at the Cannes Film Festival in France on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Early buzz on the Top Gun sequel has been astoundingly good, and that only continued this week at the Cannes Film Festival, where the movie received a five-minute standing ovation, and star Tom Cruise was handed a surprise Palme d'Or, the festival's most esteemed prize. Deadline reports that French fighter jets churning out red, white, and blue smoke flew over the Palais convention center before the festival premiere of Top Gun: Maverick, and Cruise was also treated to a tribute video montage of his work. "An incredible evening and an incredible time," the 59-year-old actor told the audience. "It's been 36 years since [the original] Top Gun, and we had to hold this for two years because of the pandemic."

The AP describes a "Tom Cruise mania" of sorts outside the venue, with "Great Balls of Fire" (the song Cruise performs with co-star Anthony Edwards in the 1986 film) blasting on the red carpet, and fans shouting "Tom!" as the star, who hasn't been to Cannes in 30 years, strolled by. Earlier that day, Cruise sat down for an onstage interview with French journalist Didier Allouch, an admitted "Cruise superfan," per Peter Bradshaw, writing for the Guardian. There were no personal questions, including on his love life or his involvement with Scientology, but Cruise talked about his early days as an actor, starting with 1981's Taps (which he made at age 18), and how he never considered letting this sequel go right to streaming during the pandemic.

"That was never going to happen," he said to "loud applause," per the AP. "I make movies for the big screen." Cruise was also asked by Allouch about doing all of his own stunts, including for the Mission: Impossible action-movie franchise. "You are a family man with children. Why do it?" the journalist inquired. To which the man with the "mega-watt grin" answered, per the Guardian: "Would you ask Gene Kelly why he does all his own dancing?" Bradshaw writes: "This reply brought us to our feet all over again." (More Top Gun stories.)

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