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Tom Cruise offered Lewis Hamilton a role as a FIGHTER PILOT in Top Gun: Maverick

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton revealed he agonizingly had to give up the chance to star alongside Tom Cruise in the Top Gun: Maverick film. 

Hamilton, 37, has enjoyed minor forays into Hollywood in the past, making a cameo in Zoolander 2 and lending his voice to Cars 2 and Cars 3 but he almost landed his dream role. 

The Brit was a fan of the original Top Gun film as a child, which made him ‘fixated’ on being a fighter pilot. 

Although he ended up on the track rather than in the skies, Hamilton revealed he almost had the chance to live out his dream on the big screen. 

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Hamilton said he begged his friend Tom Cruise to let him have a role in the Top Gun sequel. 

‘Basically I’m a friend of Tom,’ Hamilton said before adding, ‘Cruise.’

‘One of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. He invited me to his set years ago when he was doing Edge of Tomorrow and then we just built a friendship over time.’ 

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton (right) revealed he agonizingly had to give up the chance to star alongside Tom Cruise (left) in Top Gun: Maverick

Hamilton said he begged his friend Cruise to let him have a role in the Top Gun sequel

Hamilton said he begged his friend Cruise to let him have a role in the Top Gun sequel 

‘So when I heard the second one was coming out, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I have to ask him,’ he added. 

‘I said, “I don’t care what role it is. I’ll even sweep something, be a cleaner in the back.”‘ 

Cruise reportedly not only said yes but told Hamilton he didn’t have to settle for being a cleaner but could be a fighter pilot.

But then reality struck as the Mercedes driver realized filming would take place during the climax of the Formula One season. 

The Mercedes driver realized that filming would take place at the height of the F1 season

The Mercedes driver realized that filming would take place at the height of the F1 season

The seven-time World Champion insisted he could not justify sacrificing preparation to turn up on set, claiming he is a ‘perfectionist’. 

He was forced to reluctantly contact Cruise and director Joseph Kosinski to turn down the role in what he described as the ‘most upsetting call he has ever had.’

Hamilton not only missed out on a big screen breakthrough but also a potentially massive payday. 

Top Gun: Maverick supplanted Titanic as the seventh-biggest film ever at the domestic box office last weekend having now earned $662 million in ticket sales. 

The sequel, now in its eleventh week of release, added $7 million to its total and beats James Cameron’s 1997 tragedy by $3 million, having raked in $659 million.

Top Gun is only the 12th film to ever cross the $600 million mark at the domestic box office

Top Gun is only the 12th film to ever cross the $600 million mark at the domestic box office

While Titanic is now in eighth place, Top Gun is now creeping up on sixth placed Avengers: Infinity War at $678 million and Black Panther with box office receipts of $700 million.

Films that have grossed even more including Avatar, Spiderman: No Way Home, Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: The Force Awakens will likely not be surpassed, however it could well mean Top Gun: Maverick makes it into fifth place.

Top Gun is only the 12th film to ever cross the $600 million mark at the domestic box office.

Internationally, it holds the number three spot for the studio’s highest-grossing titles ever.

Hamilton is no stranger to the small screen, featuring alongside his F1 peers in Netflix’s Drive to Survive series.

Drive to Survive has been one of Netflix's biggest hits since starting back in 2019 and has now drawn more people to the sport

Drive to Survive has been one of Netflix’s biggest hits since starting back in 2019 and has now drawn more people to the sport 

Netflix has taken the sport to new audiences. A younger one (average age down from 39 to 37 in 2017) and a more female one (40 per cent, up eight per cent points since 2017)

Netflix has taken the sport to new audiences. A younger one (average age down from 39 to 37 in 2017) and a more female one (40 per cent, up eight per cent points since 2017) 

The documentary has showcased all the behind-the-scenes drama and is responsible for taking the sport to new audiences. A younger one (average age down from 39 to 37 in 2017) and a more female one (40 per cent, up eight per cent points since 2017)

The US TV audience has also accelerated to 39 per cent beyond the 2018 figure. Silverstone welcomed 401,000 fans over the weekend compared to 345,694 in 2019; Melbourne was 420,000 versus 351,000.

Hamilton’s final-day battle with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen last season was a particularly gripping story line and undoubtedly contributed to the boom of the drama.


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