Lewis Hamilton Was Almost in ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ Says It ‘Broke My Heart’ to Turn Down Tom Cruise

Lewis Hamilton Was Almost in ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ Says It ‘Broke My Heart’ to Turn Down Tom Cruise

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Lewis Hamilton is crossing over into film.

The British racing driver recently signed on to produce a racing movie alongside Brad Pitt, director Joseph Kosinski, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. However, this isn’t Hamilton’s first opportunity to switch gears to Hollywood.

In a new story for GQ, the 39-year-old revealed that he was offered a role in Top Gun: Maverick by Kosinski. Hamilton became chummy with Tom Cruise around 10 years ago, after Cruise invited Hamilton to the set of the 2014 movie, Edge of Tomorrow.

“My assistant called me: ‘Tom Cruise has invited you to the set.’ I was just like: ‘Shoot, yeah?! Cancel anything I have!’” Hamilton told the publication.

The two became friends, and Cruise was already a fan, and he would send supportive messages to Hamilton for his races. “‘Me and the team want to wish you good luck with the race’—that sort of thing,” Hamilton added.

Cruise and Hamilton were having dinner one day when Cruise saw that Hamilton had a Top Gun logo on the back of his watch. That’s when Hamilton threw his hat in the ring—years before the second installation of Top Gun had come to fruition.

“‘Dude, if you ever do Top Gun 2, I will even be a janitor—just let me be in it,’” Hamilton told Cruise.

So when Top Gun: Maverick came to life, Cruise introduced Hamilton to Kosinski, who offered him a role as a pilot. Hamilton faced a dilemma: he was knee-deep in the 2018 title race and filming would happen at a crucial time. He would have had to spend a couple of weeks on set during the last months of the season.

“Firstly, I hadn’t even had, like, an acting lesson,” he told GQ. “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!”

Danny Ramirez—who played Lieutenant Mickey “Fanboy” Garcia in Maverick—was then given the role in lieu of Hamilton.

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