Top Gun Maverick Cast and Character Guide: Who Plays Who? – TheWrap

Time to feel the need… the need for speed
Paramount Pictures
“Top Gun: Maverick” is now soaring, and while you can’t miss Tom Cruise’s return to the skies, there are quite a few new young pilots joining his ranks. Other names mentioned in the original film come to life, while some characters from Maverick’s past stay off the screen in the sequel.
 
Another classic character that comes back in “Maverick” is Iceman (Val Kilmer), while the younger pilots bring their own energy to the film.

 
Here’s who plays who in “Top Gun: Maverick”:
Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise)
 
Tom Cruise reprises the role of Captain Pete Mitchell, who many think would have been promoted past the status of captain by now. He is more often referred to by his call sign “Maverick,” and now he test-flies cutting edge planes for the navy. Maverick tried his hand at becoming an instructor at Top Gun years ago, but he didn’t fit. That is, until Commander Iceman calls him back to teach the best of the best how to execute one heck of a mission.
 
Tom Cruise is, of course, one of the biggest movie stars on the planet.
Penny Benjamin (Jennifer Connelly)
 
Penny was the daughter of the Admiral the Pete fooled around with in the original “Top Gun.” She now owns The Hard Deck bar near the Top Gun naval base in San Diego. She remembers Pete as well as he remembers her, although she married someone else and now has a daughter. Her husband remarried, so she is single.
 
Past films for Connelly include “Requiem for a Dream” (2000), “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), “Hulk” (2003), “House of Sand and Fog” (2003) and “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (2008).
Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky
 
Iceman, or Ice for even shorter, was in Maverick’s class at Top Gun. He graduated top of the class, making Maverick second, but the two bonded in the end despite butting heads. Iceman is now a very high-ranking admiral who sometimes pulls strings to keep Maverick around. They get a very touching scene in the film.
 
Kilmer starred as one of the first versions of Batman in “Batman Forever” (1995). He has also portrayed Mark Twain in “Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn” (2014) and “Cinema Twain” (2019).
Bernie “Hondo” Coleman (Bashir Salahuddin)
 
Bernie is working on the program that Maverick is currently test-piloting. When Maverick gets the call to return to Top Gun, Bernie goes with him and becomes his assistant coach out in the field. W01 stands for Warrant Officer Rank 1, and Warrant Officers have great technical skill and leadership. The Navy relies on them to repair equipment and for communications. Salahuddin served as a writer on “Sherman’s Showcase,” “South Side” and “Chocolate News.” He has recently appeared in “The Dropout” (2022).
Admiral Chester “Hammer” Cain (Ed Harris)
 
Adm. Cain visits Maverick when he pushes a plane to Mach 10 in order to save the program he is currently test-piloting for. As Maverick launches into the sky, the force of the jet washes over Cain, who is still at the entry gate. Cain came in person to officially cancel the program, but Maverick — as usual — got in the way. Harris is known for “Apollo 13” (1995), “The Truman Show” (1998), “Pollock” (2000) and “Appaloosa” (2008).
Admiral Beau “Cyclone” Simpson (Jon Hamm)
 
Cyclone has no tolerance for Maverick’s shenanigans. He is under orders from Iceman to give Maverick the teaching job, but he has his doubts. Hamm makes Cyclone a very strict no-nonsense admiral. Jon Hamm is best known for his role as Don Draper in the show “Mad Men” (2007-2015). He has also appeared in “The Town” (2010), Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” (2014) and “Tag” (2018).
Admiral Solomon “Warlock” Bates (Charles Parnell)
 
Warlock is a little bit more forgiving of Maverick’s past transgressions. He even secretly cheers him on later in the film. Warlock sits in on Maverick’s lessons along with Cyclone. Parnell has appeared in “Transformers: Age of Extinction” (2014), “The Last Ship” (2014-2018), “The Warriors” (2005) and”Bones” (2008).
Lieutenant Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller)
 
When Warlock and Cyclone show Maverick the roster of students he will be training, he immediately singles out Bradley Bradshaw, whose call sign is Rooster. Rooster is Goose’s son, and Maverick not only has the emotional baggage from flying with Goose (played by Anthony Edwards) back in “Top Gun” and losing him in an accident, but now facing his son. Rooster’s mom asked Maverick to pull his papers from the naval academy, which set him back four years in his career. Teller has starred in “The Spectacular Now” (2013) “Whiplash” (2014), “Fantastic Four” (2015), the “Divergent” films and more recently, “The Offer” series as Alfred S. Ruddy.
Lieutenant Jake “Hangman” Seresin (Glenn Powell)
 
Hangman is a skilled pilot, but he is also cocky. He walks a fine line between charming and full-of-himself or just plain a-hole. Hangman likes to get under people’s skin, and once he senses the beef between Rooster and Maverick, it doesn’t take him long to find out why the two have tension. Glenn Powell originally auditioned for the role of Rooster, but later took on Hangman after a phone call from Tom Cruise. Powell has previously starred in “Set It Up” (2018) as Charlie and “Scream Queens” (2015-2016) as Chad Radwell. He appeared in “Hidden Figures” (2016) as astronaut John Glenn and “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” (2018) as Mark Reynolds.
Lieutenant Natasha “Phoenix” Trace (Monica Barbaro)
 
Phoenix is the standout woman pilot of the group, called back with one other woman pilot. Barbaro has previously held roles in TV shows like “The Good Cop,” “Splitting Up Together” and “Chicago Justice.”
Lieutenant Robert “Bob” Floyd (Lewis Pullman)
 
Bob becomes Phoenix’s trusty second seat. His call sign is Bob, and he gets made fun of for that, but he gets the job done, just like Goose did for Maverick back in the day. Pullman has previously appeared in “Bad Times at the El Royale” (2018), “Them That Follow” (2019) and TV series like “Catch-22” and “Outer Range.”
Lieutenant Reuben “Payback” Fitch (Jay Ellis)
 
Payback proves his worth as a pilot with partner Fanboy. Their bond is a special one, and they flourish under Maverick’s teaching. He eventually chooses them as a key component to the mission for which he was called to train all the pilots. Ellis has appeared in “Insecure” on HBO, “Mrs. America” (2020) and “Masters of Sex” (2014).
Lieutenant Mickey “Fanboy“ Garcia (Danny Rodriguez)
 
Fanboy is Payback’s flight partner. He sits in the backseat and operates more of the controls on the plane and looks around for threats. Rodriguez has appeared in “Assassination  Nation” (2018), Marvel’s “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” (2021) and Hulu’s “No Exit” (2022).
Lieutenant Javy “Coyote” Machado (Greg Tarzan)
 
Coyote runs in the same circles as Hangman, Phoenix and Rooster. He competes for a part in the mission, but is not chosen. Greg Tarzan previously appeared on “Grey’s Anatomy” as Dr. Jordan Wright, and he will also accompany Cruise in “Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning.”
Lieutenant Brigham “Harvard” Lennox (Jake Picking)
 
Harvard, portrayed by Jake Picking, doesn’t get much screen time or lines, but his face pops up during initial training and the push-ups competition that stems from it. Picking has held previous roles in “Patriots Day” (2016), “Hollywood” (2020) and “The First Lady” (2022).
Lieutenant Billy “Fritz” Avalone (Manny Jacinto)
 
Manny Jacinto’s Fritz also doesn’t get any lines or that much screentime, but his famous face is recognizable in the squadron of talent recruited for Maverick to teach. Jacinto is known for his role of Jason in “The Good Place” (2016-2020) and also playing Yao in ‘Nine Perfect Strangers” (2021).
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