Tom Cruise put his younger co-stars through their paces so they would know what to expect from a real-life fighter pilot's perspective - as well as how to film themselves in the cockpit with Maverick's state-of-the-art camera setup.
'I was able from that to create a whole program and a format for the actors, to train them to be able to get into an F-15 and to operate the cameras,' he recalls.
'They were very, very dedicated. I get in the F-14, and we're doing three flights in one day and there is nothing you can do - you're going to puke. First flight, I had that plastic right there,' Cruise adds with a laugh. 'So that's why right away I said, 'I'm going to teach you everything there is to know about what you’re going to go through in that aircraft, and by the time you sit in that F-18, it's not going to be a surprise to you like I had to go through.'
Cruise's personal 'all-encompassing aviation training' took his co-stars through a gauntlet of aviation experience, from a single-engine airplane, to an L-39, to the F-18 Super Hornet. 'I'm very proud of what we all accomplished,' the actor raved of Maverick's cast of newcomers.