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Jon Hamm Explains His Role As Maverick's New Boss In Top Gun 2

Jon Hamm, who plays Vice Admiral Beau "Cyclone" Simpson, the boss of Tom Cruise's Maverick in Top Gun: Maverick, has revealed fresh information about his character

The long-awaited sequel to the 1986 classic Top Gun, directed by Joseph Kosinski, sees Cruise return to the character of Pete "Maverick" Mitchell for the first time in decades. After many pandemic-related delays, the Top Gun: Maverick release date has finally arrived, and the film is now officially in cinemas.

Cruise isn't the only Top Gun cast member returning for the sequel; Val Kilmer reprises his role as Maverick's old rival-turned-close buddy, Tom "Iceman" Kazansky. Several new characters have also joined the crew, most notably Miles Teller's Rooster, the son of Maverick's murdered wingman Goose. Vice Admiral Beau "Cyclone" Simpson, who heads the US Naval Air Forces, is in charge of Cruise's new mission.

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Now, Hamm talks to THR about his Top Gun: Maverick character, who follows the rules but isn't confined by his film stereotype. When the interviewer notes that Cyclone stands out by being correct in his assessment of Maverick's recklessness, the actor responds that the Vice Admiral is truly there to challenge the protagonist in ways that help him develop, rather than keep him confined. According to Hamm, Cyclone is the film's voice of accountability, and he criticizes Maverick because he comes from a place of mutual respect. See his complete quote below:

"That’s a great observation, and I think you’re correct. He’s the adult in the room. He’s not the petulant angry chief, and he’s not the cigar-chomping guy [James Tolkan’s Stinger] in [Top Gun], whose ego is writing checks his body can’t cash. Cyclone is way more in the Tom Skerritt vein, who I really looked to for inspiration. First of all, I love Tom as an actor, but I loved him in the film, too. He’s got that tough-love sensibility, but he also has that great line at the end,I’ll fly with you.” It’s a begrudging mutual respect, and my character has a lot of that, too.

There comes a lot of responsibility with being the boss. My guy, the vice admiral, is in charge of not just lives, but billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded material. So that’s a lesson that he’s trying to impart to Maverick as well. He’s saying, “What are you doing? This is not where you should be. You’re too talented, and you can impart all of this wisdom to someone else and pass it on down the line. Why are you stuck? What’s happening here?” So a really emotional part of the story is watching Maverick grow up a little. He does owe a debt of responsibility to not only his former friend [Goose] and the family that he left behind, but also the next generation. So it hits on a lot of levels."

Prospective viewers may tell from the Top Gun: Maverick teaser that Cruise and Hamm's characters will butt heads throughout the film. Maverick is called in to train a squad of high-performing Top Gun grads for a very perilous mission in the storyline, and revealed footage reveals that Cyclone would not have chosen the skilled but reckless pilot for the assignment. Instead, his participation demonstrates how Maverick and Iceman's friendship has evolved, since the four-star Admiral personally suggested him.

One difference between Hamm's part with the other important characters in the film is that he does not fly the planes, which resulted in a very different filming experience for the actor. Cruise famously constructed a Top Gun: Maverick boot camp for the younger cast members, who spent months learning not only how to survive the g-forces of a fighter plane, but also how to run the filming equipment. While he won't be involved in the film's exhilarating action sequences, it appears that Hamm's character will play an important role in what Top Gun: Maverick reviewers have stressed is an unexpectedly emotional blockbuster.

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