You somehow played a heavy role in this movie. Can you tell us a bit about your character?
[Heavy]-ish. Yes. You know, someone has to represent the voice of reason and the voice of responsibility. And in this particular movie, he is the person who is in charge of not only all the men and women under his command, but also the vast amount of military dollars that are spent. So yeah, that’s basically my man, he’s the man in charge. And when he goes up against a guy named Maverick, he knows they’ll probably go up against each other.
What was the impact of the original film on you?
You know, I think the original movie defined what it meant to be cool for a lot of kids of my generation. I was 15 years old. I just know that my friends and I thought everything about that movie was great. I know if you ask a couple of the aviators and Navy veterans that we have here, that inspired a whole generation of men and women who also joined the Navy. And I think the lessons that you learn when you join the service as a Naval Aviator, or Sailor, or Armym or whatever branch you choose, is sacrifice, and you learn about teamwork, and you learn about loyalty, and you learn about duty. . and responsibility and all that stuff. Those are the themes that we have in the film, and those are the themes that really drive the dramatic momentum of this film.
And what did you learn from this about the culture of pilots in the military?
It was fascinating. Obviously, today’s culture is so in love with the original film. It’s the reason most guys our age were naval aviators in the first place. They saw that movie and signed up. So it was very exciting to see that in person and to see all that culture and to see how it happened and to see the incredible amount of teamwork that goes into getting any aircraft ready and taking off from an aircraft carrier was spectacular.
Did you ever get on planes?
I didn’t get to get on planes. We reserve that for the fitter, younger generation, or Tom, if you will. But no, I stayed on the boat.
There is so much nostalgia in this movie in the best way. Is there a specific wink that has been your favorite?
A big part of what I love and what is so nostalgic for me is music. The score, and how immediately from the first note of the soundtrack and the score, it brings you back to that world, so viscerally. And there are a lot of visual nods to what Tony Scott did in the first one. It is a love letter and a continuation of the story at the same time.