‘Dunked’ and ‘dragged’: Navy cap’t on grueling ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ training & More Trending News


When the unique “Top Gun” film debuted in 1986, the blockbuster led to a serious bump in Navy recruiting — reportedly a whopping 500%.

“I don’t know if that figure is accurate but I will tell you that it definitely had an effect on recruiting if only one guy, which is me,” Captain Brian Ferguson, 53, informed The Post. “I saw the movie, thought it looked like the most exciting job in the world. And it is.”

After school, Ferguson, whose favourite characters have been Maverick and Iceman, joined the Navy and later attended Top Gun’s Adversary Training Course.

So it’s solely becoming that on the twilight of his army profession and after 28 years of being a Navy pilot, he landed the gig of a lifetime: the Navy’s technical advisor on “Top Gun: Maverick,” which hits theaters at this time.

Captain Brian Ferguson has been flying for the Navy for 28 years.
Captain Brian Ferguson has been flying for the Navy for 28 years.
Courtesy Brian Ferguson

“It’s funny because they didn’t order me to do it, they asked me to do it. I turned it down several times,” mentioned Ferguson, citing household and work commitments. But ultimately the job saved coming again to him and his spouse satisfied him to take it. “I was indifferent to the job, which I think was attractive to the Navy because there was no worry that I would be taken with Hollywood.”

After all, amongst Ferguson’s many roles on set was to make sure the army department’s values, integrity and pursuits have been represented. He additionally was in control of ensuring that the tools wasn’t broken, the forged and crew have been secure and flying scenes have been carried out as authentically as potential.

Tom Cruise films a scene for "Top Gun: Maverick."
Tom Cruise movies a scene for “Top Gun: Maverick.”
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Col

“We were using real airplanes. It’s dynamic and technical,” mentioned the San Diego resident.

In the start, Ferguson mentioned he would sit down with the artistic workforce, together with Tom Cruise, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Kevin LaRosa II. They’d go over scenes and Ferguson would apply his aviation experience to make their imaginative and prescient as near a actuality as potential.

“It was critical that nothing bad happened during the filming. If we somehow got too aggressive, damaged a taxpayer asset or killed somebody, then all of the things we hoped to have achieved would have been erased in a moment,” mentioned Ferguson, who mentioned the workforce used “viable, employable real-world tactics [used] in combat. The surface-to-air scene, that’s extremely realistic.”

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Captain Brian Ferguson and aerial coordinator Kevin LaRosa on the set of "Top Gun: Maverick."
Captain Brian Ferguson and aerial coordinator Kevin LaRosa on the set of “Top Gun: Maverick.”
Scott Garfield

But in relation to a canine battle, they needed to tweak a number of issues.

“Dog fights in those airplanes aren’t within 100 feet of each other. We are going so fast, the planes are a mile or a mile and a half apart. If you try to film two airplanes, a mile apart, no one is going to watch that.”

Ferguson admits there was some artistic license. Bruckheimer, he mentioned, “Told me, ‘I appreciate your passion for realism on this, however, if everything is entirely realistic, it’s going to be a documentary and that’s not what we’re going for.’”

He famous that Paramount paid the Navy again for any gas or bills. “This didn’t cost us a thing. Paramount reimbursed the taxpayers and every penny was sent back to the Treasury. But we did it for recruiting and retention.”

And when it got here to filming, the actors weren’t spared the realism of flying.

They underwent a months-long course designed by LaRosa and Cruise, whom Ferguson calls “a very experienced pilot” to acclimate to the G-force and different bodily calls for of flying in an F-18. And Ferguson coordinated a Navy survival course the place the actors have been dragged by water, dunked the wrong way up with a blindfold on and needed to exit an enclosed area.

Tom Cruise plays Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in the "Top Gun" sequel
Tom Cruise performs Pete “Maverick” Mitchell within the “Top Gun” sequel.
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Col

“If you have to eject or an airplane goes in the water, we need to know that you can get out safely, and God forbid that happens,” mentioned Ferguson, including that the training is “very challenging, it’s intimidating and not fun. [The cast] did great.”

Luckily nobody was harmed. Only his notion of Tinseltown.

“They ruined my stereotype of Hollywood. It was a negative stereotype. Everyone was so down to earth and personable,” mentioned Ferguson, who even ended up with a line within the film.

And it’s led to extra work on film units for the F-18 skilled. He was the technical advisor on the plane service for the upcoming Korean conflict film “Devotion,” primarily based on the Adam Makos e book of the identical identify and starring Glen Powell. In “Maverick,” Powell performs Hangman, a cocky, obnoxious pilot who’s the religious successor to Val Kilmer’s Iceman within the authentic.

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Monica Barbaro, who plays Phoenix, is flanked by co-stars Jay Ellis and Danny Ramirez
Monica Barbaro, who performs Phoenix, is flanked by co-stars Jay Ellis (left) and Danny Ramirez.
©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Col

“That’s funny because Glen is the nicest person you will meet in your life,” mentioned Ferguson.

Does he suppose recruiting historical past will repeat itself as soon as audiences see the heart-pumping sonic increase of a film?

“I absolutely do. There will be a lot of people wearing white T-shirts, jeans and green jackets…There’s going to be some 22-year-old girl who is looking to be a chemical engineer and see Phoenix [played by Monica Barbaro], who is an amazing character and wants to be a Navy pilot.”

And he hopes it additionally shines a light-weight on his courageous colleagues.

“The real heroes of this movie are the men and women on the ships who are deployed. They are away from their families doing dangerous stuff around the world every day.”

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