Skip to main content

Tom Cruise encouraged Top Gun: Maverick cast to throw up!

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun: Maverick involved a lot of vomit! But Tom Cruise had some words of encouragement. (Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Planes, pilots and, erm,… puke were involved in creating the spectacle that is Top Gun: Maverick as Tom Cruise encouraged his younger co-stars to throw up when going through intense flight training for the movie!

Rather than just using green screen and special effects to simulate the actors flying through the sky, Top Gun: Maverick went beyond expectations and got the actors to go through extreme flight training so that they’d be used to high g-forces and acrobatic plane movements.

Of course, this led to some rather messy accidents on set, but Hollywood megastar Tom Cruise was on-hand to offer some encouraging words to his co-stars.

Monica Barbaro, who played the pilot Natasha “Phoenix” Trace told the The New York Times (opens in new tab): "Tom just really encouraged everybody, if you are going to throw up, just learn how to do it and move past. We would applaud when anyone threw up, so it became celebrated."

Top Gun: Maverick Monica Barbaro

Monica Barbaro played Natasha "Phoenix" Trace in the movie. (Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Glen Powell, who played Jake “Hangman” Seresin, even held onto a barf bag while gliding upside down and flashing a thumbs up.

Monica managed to keep her lunch down, however, Tom’s training seemed to prepare her too well for her mission in the skies as after her first dailies, her face looked so calm that it looked like the clouds behind her were just a green screen, so she was sent back up to do a retake.

Tom Cruise in a plane's cockpit flying over mountains

Tom Cruise zooming over mountains in Top Gun: Maverick. (Image credit: Scott Garfield/Paramount Pictures)

And it seems Tom’s bootcamp was needed as the director Joseph Kosinski told The New York Times about how Tom was adamant that every stunt should be created with practical effects rather than the magic of digital effects.

“You can’t fake the forces that are put on your body during combat. You can’t do it on a sound stage, you can’t do it on a blue screen. You can’t do it with visual effects,” he said.

Grace Morris
Grace Morris

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.


You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.