Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton revealed he painfully had to give up the chance to star alongside Tom Cruise in the Top Gun: Maverick movie.
Hamilton, 37, has made small trips to 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 already a fan of the original Top Gun film as a child, which made him “fixed” on being a fighter pilot.
Although he ended up on the track rather than in the air, Hamilton revealed he almost had a chance to make his dream come true on the big screen.
In an interview with Vanity FairHamilton said he begged his friend Tom Cruise to give him a part in the Top Gun sequel.
“Actually, I’m a friend of Tom,” said Hamilton before adding. ‘Cruising.’
‘One of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. He invited me to his set years ago when he did Edge of Tomorrow and then we just built a friendship.”
Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton (right) revealed he painfully 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 play a part in the Top Gun sequel
“So when I heard the second one was out, I thought, ‘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 could be a fighter pilot.
But then reality hit when the Mercedes driver realized the filming would take place during the climax of the Formula 1 season.
The Mercedes driver realized filming would take place at the height of the F1 season
The seven-time world champion insisted he couldn’t justify sacrificing set preparation, 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 disturbing phone call he’s ever had.”
Not only did Hamilton miss a big screen breakthrough, but also a potentially huge payday.
Top Gun: Maverick replaced Titanic as the seventh biggest film ever at the domestic box office last weekend and has now earned $662 million in ticket sales.
The sequel, now in its 11th week of release, added $7 million to its total, beating James Cameron’s 1997 tragedy by $3 million after raking in $659 million.
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 crawling in sixth place with Avengers: Infinity War for $678 million and Black Panther with $700 million receipts.
Films that have delivered even more, including Avatar, Spiderman: No Way Home, Avengers: Endgame, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, probably won’t be topped, but it could well mean Top Gun: Maverick’s fifth place finish.
Top Gun is only the 12th film to ever exceed the $600 million mark at the domestic box office.
Internationally, it ranks number three for the studio’s most profitable titles ever.