“Maverick” isn’t the only character Tom Cruise brought to San Diego Comic-Con. Following a surprise appearance to promote the upcoming “Top Gun” sequel, Cruise appeared on “Conan,” where host Conan O’Brien convinced Cruise to channel Les Grossman, his overweight studio exec character from “Tropic Thunder.”
Cruise graciously agreed, doing some of Grossman’s dance moves while seated. The actor revealed he even took hip-hop classes for the 2008 comedy, which was written and directed by his friend, Ben Stiller. (It wasn’t the first time Cruise danced in front of a talk show audience; In 2005, he famous danced on Oprah Winfrey’s couch while professing his love from his then-girlfriend/now ex-wife Katie Holmes.)
Cruise also talked about the genesis of the role, explaining how he insisted Grossman have “fat hands.” That wasn’t the only physical transformation Cruise underwent for the role. To play the obese media mogul, Cruise wore a bald cap, fake chest hair and fatsuit.
Cruise also discussed reprising his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in next year’s “Top Gun” sequel, which takes 34 years after the first. The 1985 film was filmed in San Diego. Cruise explained that part of his deal with the studio was that he had to be filmed flying an F-14 fighter.
“I went through all the pilot training and then I had three flights in F-14 in one day,” he explained. “It was a dream of mine. I wanted to make movies as a little kid. And I wanted to fly airplanes.”
O’Brien will continue to host his show from San Diego for the remainder of the convention.