‘Top Gun’ star Tom Skerritt explains why original film is iconic, details filmed with Tom Cruise

newYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

‘Top Gun’ star Tom Skerritt is sharing his thoughts on the film’s sequel and reflections on the 1986 original.

Skerritt, who played Commander Mike “Viper” Metcalfe in the original, opened up about what made “Top Gun” such an iconic figure in a recent interview with Fox News Digital.

“Music has a lot to do with it, by the way,” he said. “But the script itself, which I’ve always thought was the whole reason for a good show, you just write the work … and then do the work where you have good material for the rest of us to use. I really believe in that script.”

Skerritt starred in the movie young tom cruiseVal Kilmer and others like Kelly McGillis.

Tom Skerritt in the original

Tom Skerritt as Cdr in the original Top Gun. Mike “Viper” Metcalfe.
(Photo by CBS)

Tom Cruise as Lt. Pete

Tom Cruise as Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, Anthony Edwards as Lt. Nick “Goose” Bradshaw and Michael Ironside as Lt. Cdr. Dick “Joker” Weatherly and Tom Skerritt as Cdr. Mike “Viper” Metcalfe in the movie “Top Gun.”
(Photo by CBS)

TOP Gun: MAVERICK: Director confirms MEG RYAN and KELLY MCGillis are not asked to return

“Everyone had a great time. We all knew, or I just felt, that it was going to be a very successful movie.”

As for working with Cruise, 25, Skerritt told Fox News Numbers he’s still Talk to Tony Scottdirector and producer.

“He’s obviously a nice young man, 25, and knows he’s going to come up with this movie. He didn’t say that, but I think we’ve figured it out through the discussion. He knew he’d come with “Top Gun” “And rise.”

“Everyone had a great time. We all knew, or I just felt, that it was going to be a very successful movie.”

–Tom Skerritt on filming 1986’s Top Gun

Speaking of the sequel, Top Gun: Maverick “I think it’s going to be a showcase of a lot of aeronautical engineering, a lot of it going straight into the sky, and then going as high as possible,” Skerritt explained to Fox News Digital.

“I think we’re just going to see some people do some crazy flying, and … they’re going to have a good time, but it’s not going to have the original storyline. You can’t restore what’s already done.”

The film opens in theaters on May 27 after a two-year delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Skerritt weighs in

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Skerritt gave his thoughts on Top Gun: Maverick.
(Photo by Matt Hayward)

Click here to sign up for the Entertainment Newsletter

Before starring in ’80s action films, Skerritt served in the US Air Force. The actor admitted that he joined the US Air Force with the intention of learning to fly a plane, but never succeeded.

“The army of the military, no matter what service you’re in,” he told Fox News Digital. “One is a little thicker than the others. That would be the Marines. But I’ve never flown and I think it’s my dream. I have an older brother who was a P-51 pilot in World War II and I love him, I Love him for what he did.”

“He’s obviously a nice young man, 25, and knows he’s going to rise with this film.”

—Tom Skerritt on Tom Cruise

“At 17, I joined the military right out of high school,” he continued. “I thought maybe I could dive in and become a pilot, which is impossible. I didn’t have any math skills, and it took me four years to learn how to behave.”

As Memorial Day approachesthe actor-turned-producer explains what the day means to him.

Memorial Day means a lot to Skerritt, who himself served in the military and started a program for veterans.

Memorial Day means a lot to Skerritt, who himself served in the military and started a program for veterans.
(Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)

Click here for the Fox News app

“A lot of that is because I have my own military experience,” Skerritt said. “My brother is in the army.”

Skerritt also co-founded the Red Badge Project in 2012 with former Army Captain Evan Bailey. The program helps veterans “discover greater self-acceptance and efficacy as they find their voices and create stories based on their lived experiences,” according to the Red Badge Project’s website.

Skerritt further explained: “I also have a school here called Red Badge where we teach post-traumatic stress vets how to tell stories, because whether it’s a true story or recovering from something really bad, being able to Writing a story is a fantastic therapy for the moment they have. That’s my day.”

Larry Fink of Fox News contributed to this report.