Lewis Hamilton regrets turning down offer for a role in Top Gun Maverick

Lewis Hamilton regrets turning down offer for a role in Top Gun: Maverick

Lewis Hamilton has said he regrets passing up the chance to play a role in Top Gun: Maverick.

Seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton has admitted he “regretted” turning down Tom Cruise’s invitation for a role in Top Gun: Maverick.

GQ’s March/April 2024 cover story on the most successful driver in Formula 1 history has this intriguing revelation, among many others. While the 39-year-old’s racing career is undoubtedly a topic of discussion, the main focus of the interview revolves around his interests away from the track, specifically in fashion and film.

Hamilton was offered a piloting role in the 2022 follow-up to the 1986 classic, which starred Tom Cruise and several other A-list celebrities.

The movie went on to become the second biggest film of 2022 behind only Avatar: The Way Of Water, grossing $1.496 billion (£1.190 billion) worldwide and enjoying great success from both critics and moviegoers. Additionally, it received six Oscars nominations, one of which was for the distinguished Best Picture category.

Hamilton’s Hollywood beginnings, however, date back to 2014 when the driver was invited by Tom Cruise to the set of his movie Edge of Tomorrow. As their friendship grew, Hamilton one evening surprised Cruise with his watch, which had the Top Gun logo on it (it was probably an IWC, a brand that has worked closely with both the Top Gun movie and Hamilton).

This was long ahead of the official announcement of a Top Gun sequel, but Cruise recalled Hamilton’s request when Top Gun: Maverick was granted production a few years later.

“I said, ‘Dude, if you ever do Top Gun 2, I will even be a janitor—just let me be in it,” The British driver recalled his conversation with the actor.

GQ claims that Cruise introduced Hamilton to Kosinski, who extended an invitation to take on a pilot’s role. Unfortunately, Hamilton turned down the invitation since he and Sebastian Vettel were engaged in an intense battle for the 2018 F1 Championship.

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“Firstly, I hadn’t even had, like, an acting lesson,” he added. “And I don’t want to be the one that lets this movie down. And then secondly, I just really didn’t have the time to dedicate to it.

“I remember having to tell Joe and Tom—and it broke my heart. And then I regretted it, naturally, when they show me the movie and it’s: It could’ve been me!”

The fact that Hamilton ended up winning his sixth Formula One championship at the end of that season ensured he couldn’t have regretted making that decision too much.

Hamilton stated in the GQ interview that he wants to concentrate on filmmaking after he retires from racing.

This comes as the director and producer of Top Gun: Maverick, Joseph Kosinski, along with Jerry Bruckheimer, are currently collaborating with his new production company, Dawn Apollo Films, to produce what they hope will be the most authentic and successful racing film ever created.

Although only a few details have been released, Brad Pitt is anticipated to take center stage alongside Damson Idris. Pitt was spotted at the 2023 British Grand Prix with cameras rolling while donning an F1 racing outfit before a crowd of more than 150,000 spectators.

“I felt my job really has been to try to call BS. ‘This would never happen, this is how it would be, this is how it could happen,'” Hamilton told GQ. “Just giving them advice about what racing is really about and what, as a racing fan, would appeal and what would not.

“My point was: Guys, this movie needs to be so authentic.

“There’s two different fan groups that we have—like, the old originals, who from the day they’re born hearing the Grand Prix music every weekend and watching with their families, to the new generation that just learned about it today through [Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive to Survive].”

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