Lewis Hamilton Turned Down Top Gun: Maverick Role

The box-office smash Top Gun: Maverick nearly had a bit of Formula 1 flair. Mercedes’ driver Lewis Hamiton revealed that he was offered a part in the film, but had to turn it down due to conflicts with his day job.

The seven-time Formula 1 champ sat down with Vanity Fair for a wide-ranging interview that touched on all aspects of his career, including his almost-appearance in the sequel to the 1986 Tom Cruise classic.

Hamilton uttered the very cool sentence “Basically I’m a friend of Tom,” referring to Tom Cruise, who has been seen in Formula 1 garages — including Mercedes’ — on more than one occasion. The two became friends after Hamilton visited the set of Cruise’s 2014 movie Edge of Tomorrow.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JULY 18: Tom Cruise bumps fists with Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 18, 2021 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Hamilton called Tom Cruise to ask about a role in Top Gun: Maverick

Having seen the original Top Gun as a kid, Hamilton sprang into action when the long-awaited sequel was announced.

“So when I heard the second one was coming out, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I have to ask him,’” he said in the interview. “I said, ‘I don’t care what role it is. I’ll even sweep something, be a cleaner in the back.’”

The powers that be were onboard with the idea, and the F1 star was set to appear as a fighter pilot. However, there was that pesky matter of having responsibilities in the Formula 1 world, which left his calendar bloated and forced him to drop out of working on the film.

Hamilton called and said he wouldn’t have had enough time to prepare enough to satisfy his perfectionist tendencies. He also said that calling Cruise to tell him he couldn’t do the film was the “most upsetting call” he ever had to make.

Hamilton may have missed out on Top Gun: Maverick, but not on Hollywood

There’s no doubt having to miss out on being part of a film as successful as Top Gun: Maverick — which has ridden its pro-America themes to massive box office returns — pains Hamilton, but he does have other Hollywood projects in the pipeline.

According to Fox News, Hamilton is involved in a Formula 1 film for Apple Studios. He’ll be credited as producer and told Vanity Fair that his role is to make sure the movie is authentic.

“To hear the B.S. that’s in the script because the Americans that are writing it are just getting newly accustomed to Formula 1,” he said.

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN – JUNE 12: Fourth placed Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes climbs from his car after complaining of pain during the F1 Grand Prix of Azerbaijan at Baku City Circuit on June 12, 2022 in Baku, Azerbaijan. (Photo by Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

The movie is set to star Brad Pitt, and, coincidentally, will be directed by Joseph Kosinski who directed Top Gun: Maverick.

Hamilton said he will likely be behind the camera moving forward, but he has jumped in front of it before. He had a cameo in 2016’s Zoolander 2, and lent his voice to the Pixar animated films Cars 2 and Cars 3.

There are several other Formula 1-related projects in the works. Daniel Ricciardo — currently awaiting news on his F1 future — is attached to a Hulu series. Meanwhile, Keanu Reeves is working on a documentary series about 2009 constructors champion Brawn GP.

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Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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