Anthony Edwards Told Tom Cruise 'Mission Accomplished' with 'Top Gun: Maverick' : 'They Did It'

"It was fantastic," Top Gun star Anthony Edwards raved of the 1986 film's long-awaited sequel Maverick after catching an early screening of the film with costar Tom Cruise

Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock (5886113w) Anthony Edwards Top Gun - 1986 Director: Tony Scott Paramount USA Film Portrait Top Gun
Photo: Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock; Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

Anthony Edwards may not physically appear in Top Gun: Maverick but he was one of the sequel's earliest fans.

The Golden Globe winner, 59, gave his seal of approval to the follow-up of his 1986 movie after catching an early screening with costar Tom Cruise, which he spoke about at Thursday's Tribeca Film Festival world premiere of Jennifer Lopez's Halftime documentary.

"If you do the first movie, you're lucky enough," Edwards told ET. "I was lucky enough that Tom called me up. He screened it for me in person."

He noted that his son Bailey, 28, who walked the red carpet with him, also tagged along for the intimate sneak peek at the Dolby screening room in New York City, which he said had "the best sound ever," adding: "It was fantastic."

TOP GUN, Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan, Anthony Edwards, 1986
Everett Collection

Edwards appeared in the original Top Gun as Lt. Nick "Goose" Bradshaw, the closest confidant of LT Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Cruise). And although the character tragically died in the first film, he lives on in the sequel through the character of his now-grown son Lt. Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw (Miles Teller).

"It's the biggest movie that I'm in that I never had to show up for a day of work, so it was fun," Edwards raved.

The ER alum also praised the sequel for living up to its predecessor. "When something's that successful, people had a certain feeling in the original one," he said.

Top Gun: Maverick
Paramount Pictures

"And [Top Gun: Maverick] does exactly what it felt like seeing it the first time, only more," Edwards explained. "As I said to Tom, 'Mission accomplished.' They did it. They really did though. It's a lot of work that went into that. But it had the feel, it had the tone, it had what people wanted."

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Cruise, 59, reprises his role in Top Gun: Maverick more than 35 years after appearing in the original. The sequel sees Maverick still flying as one of the Navy's top aviators, avoiding a rank promotion that would keep him grounded. Meanwhile, he trains a new class of fighter pilots for the mission of a lifetime, while confronting ghosts from his past.

Top Gun: Maverick is now in theaters.

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