Tom Cruise Says He Cried During Reunion with Val Kilmer in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ : ‘Pretty Emotional’

“You’re just looking at Iceman,” Tom Cruise said of Val Kilmer’s appearance in Top Gun: Maverick

Tom Cruise says his reunion with Val Kilmer for Top Gun: Maverick was a moving one.

During Cruise’s stop by Jimmy Kimmel Live last Friday, Cruise, 60, told host Jimmy Kimmel about the emotions surrounding his opportunity to work with Kilmer, 63, again.

“I just want to say that was pretty emotional,” Cruise said. “I’ve known Val for decades, and for him to come back and play that character… he’s such a powerful actor that he instantly became that character again.”

“You’re just looking at Iceman,” he added of Kilmer’s Top Gun: Maverick cameo, in which Cruise’s character Pete “Maverick” Mitchell seeks out Kilmer’s Admiral Tom “Iceman” Kazansky for advice on how to handle the film’s top secret, high-risk mission.

“I was crying, I was crying. I got emotional,” Cruise admitted, after Kimmel asked whether he cried while filming the scene. “He’s such a brilliant actor, I love his work.”

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Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise in Top Gun (1986). PARAMOUNT/KOBAL/SHUTTERSTOCK

Last July, Kilmer helped Cruise ring in his 60th birthday when he posted a sweet message to Cruise on Twitter wishing his costar well.

“Happy Birthday Mav @TomCruise from Ice!” wrote Kilmer, 63, referencing their iconic characters’ call signs.

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Cruise told PEOPLE last May that it felt “special” to reunite with Kilmer for the sequel.

“I’ve always admired his work, his talent,” he said at the time, adding: “We get together … we just start laughing. It was special to have him back. It meant a lot to me.”

For Kilmer, becoming Iceman once again was “like being reunited with a long-lost friend.” Even after more than 30 years, he told PEOPLE, “the characters never really go away. They live on in deep freeze. If you’ll pardon the pun.”

TOP GUN: MAVERICK
SCOTT GARFIELD /© PARAMOUNT PICTURES / COURTESY EVERETT

Top Gun: Maverick‘s success — the film made close to $1.5 billion at the global box office — still has Hollywood buzzing since its release last May. A video from the Oscars nominees luncheon on Feb. 15 showed Steven Spielberg telling Cruise he “saved Hollywood’s ass” with the film.

The director added that Cruise “might have saved theatrical distribution” entirely with the long-awaited sequel to the 1986 hit.

“Seriously, Top Gun: Maverick might have saved the entire theatrical industry,” Spielberg told Cruise in the video, which was originally posted by documentarian Kartiki Gonsalves on Instagram.

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