Top Gun: Maverick’s Glen Powell Reflects On Not Getting Cast As Rooster, And How A Joke Tweet May Have Helped Him Land Hangman

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When it dropped in May, the audience response to Top Gun: Maverick was beyond incredible. The studio expected the film to be a hit, but they did not expect the movie to open at No.1 and stay in the top ten for an almost unheard-of 20 more weeks. Nor did they expect it to become the fifth-highest-grossing domestic release of all time, break a wild record for Paramount,  or be the biggest box-office hit of Tom Cruise’s career. Yet, all those things Maverick did. And one of the film’s stars, Glen Powell (Hangman), says he wasn’t chosen for the role of Rooster, though he originally auditioned for it, and had it not been for a joke tweet, he may not have been cast in one of the biggest history-making action movies at all.

In a recent interview with Variety, the Hidden Figures actor spoke about his upcoming aviation biopic, Devotion, meeting Jonathan Majors naked in a Russian Turkish bathhouse, and how a viral tweet landed him a role in the critically well-received legacy sequel. The actor decided to post a funny response to social media declaring he was removing all the Tom Cruise posters in his room after receiving a phone call from the studio who said they were going with Miles Teller for the lead in Maverick.

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The joke was a bold move for The Bad Guys star to make, especially coming mere hours after the news broke of Miles Teller’s casting in the role. At the time, Powell had no idea he would be approached for the movie. But, the actor decided to post the tweet partly out of a desire to stave off the overwhelming sense of sadness of being passed for the part. The actor said: 

That moment was when I had a sense of humor about it before I got really sad about it. I literally remember getting the call because my friend was over at my house. It was a few days after the audition, and I felt really good about it, and Joe Kosinski called and said, ‘Hey, you know we’re going with Miles.’ I was like, ‘OK, you guys will make a great movie. I appreciate the opportunity.’ My friend had taken a picture of me, thinking I was going to get the role. So I was sitting on the balcony by myself in an American flag tank top in aviators… it was so sad on so many levels.

Lucky for Powell, not long after the Tweet went up, he received a phone call from the film’s star, Tom Cruise, pitching him on an entirely different role.

So within an hour, the press had gotten a hold of Miles’ casting, and it was everywhere. So I made a joke, I said, ‘I’ll just say something silly and funny.’ Then the sadness hit the next day, so I’m really glad I got that tweet out before that. Then the experience of Tom Cruise calling me and pitching me this whole other thing and the back and forth with him and Jerry Bruckheimer and Joe Kosinski and Chris McQuarrie happened, and I’m so glad it did.

Glen Powell believes, in hindsight, the tweet was a pretty odd thing to do but admits you never know what little act of humor could change your life. The actor says he doesn’t know whether Cruise or the other filmmakers officially saw the tweet, and he didn’t put much thought into the joke before sending it out into the world. However, he’s happy he took the chance because you never know; it might be why he landed the job. The actor said later: 

You never know! In hindsight it’s weird when you think back on what little things you were unaware of if that changed the course of your life. I didn’t even think about it at the time but you never know. I’m really glad I tweeted it, whether it got me the job or not!

We are glad Glenn Powell sent the tweet as well. It’s hard to imagine Top Gun: Maverick without his portrayal of Hangman. You can catch Powell next in Devotion when it hits cinemas on November 23 or check out how to watch Top Gun: Maverick at home these days. For all your movie-going plans, stay tuned to CinemaBlend and check out our list of upcoming movie releases.

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