Tom Cruise’s Top Gun character Lieutenant Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell inspired NASA Administrator James Bridenstine to embark on a career as a Navy pilot.
The actor leads the action movie franchise, which began in 1986, and his U.S. Navy pilot character prompted Bridenstine to follow a similar career path, which led him to the job he’s in today.
“There was a day when I was in elementary school and I saw Top Gun. From that day, I knew I was going to be a Navy pilot. It’s just the way it was,” he said while gearing up for the launch of the SpaceX rocket this weekend (May 30-31, 2020), reported JustJared.com. “The goal here (is similar], and it’s what we’re doing today (with the rocket launch).”
NASA officials are planning to shoot a new movie onboard the International Space Station with Cruise, and Bridenstine confessed he hopes the actor will similarly inspire a new generation to embark on a career in science.
“If we can get Tom Cruise to inspire an elementary kid to join the Navy and be a pilot, why can’t we get Tom Cruise to inspire the next Elon Musk? That’s what we need,” he added.
“We need a new generation of many Elon Musks. That’s what we’re doing with our launch (and the film). It’s all about the next generation.”
Doug Liman is currently attached to direct the movie, with tech mogul Musk also reportedly on board with the project, alongside his Space X partners.