TOP GUN: MAVERICK: Warlock Actor Charles Parnell On Role Research & Tom Cruise Set Fun Antics (Exclusive)

During our press rounds for the juggernaut of a film that is Top Gun: Marverick, we chatted with actor Charles Parnell, and he told us about how the research process was brought on set and more fun bits!

Interviews Opinion

Despite Disney and Marvel's attempts, nothing has been able to top Top Gun: Maverick at the box office this year. It also seems that the fan consensus is similar, with old and new generations coming together with what is praised as a perfect follow-up and tribute to the decades-old movie Top Gun.

When we were chatting with the cast, crew, and other members of the film including Kenny Loggins (Danger Zone, Footloose), aerial director Kevin LaRosa (Ant-Man, Mission Impossible 3), and actors Danny Ramirez (Tales of the Walking Dead, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), Greg Tarzan Davis (The Call of the Wild), we learned plenty of interesting tidbits and have been sharing over time. 

In this interview, however, we have the pleasure of touching base with actor Charles Parnell (Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning - Part One, The Last Ship, Marvel's Avengers) about voice acting Nick Fury in Marvel's Avengers and how much he can sound like Samuel L. Jackson. While those are obviously all fun topics, here we focus on Top Gun: Maverick and his role as Admiral Solomon "Warlock" Bates, his research process on the movie, and how much fun Tom Cruise really is on and off set.

You can hear our exclusive audio chat with actor Charles Parnell below, followed by a portion of the transcript. The full video interview is at the bottom.

Charles Parnell: I had already seen the movie 27 times, so the one thing I didn't need to do was watch the movie again. (Laughs) But what they afforded me was some time to spend with a couple of Admirals. To kind of just shadow them and see what their day is like and the kind of things that they had to go through. Which is pretty much all I needed from being on the last ship and being on a destroyer and playing a master chief, even though that's a different side. It's the enlisted side versus the officer side.

I had a lot of exposure to the Navy and the military way - how to dress, how to salute, and the social practices on a ship or on a boat, depending on where you are. So I was kind of well-versed, and also, we have great advisors. So it's more so like the Naval advisors are there to answer any questions. And once they see that you care about being authentic, then they are on you for anything you need. So I felt supported. I didn't feel like I had to do so much research as the research was right there in front of me. Like I could ask questions on the spot and find out how to do things in the moment, which was great.


It's a lot more fun onset than people would think. We joke; Tom has a great sense of humor, and he'll end takes a lot of times with a joke or saying something you wouldn't expect to hear from him. That's probably something people wouldn't imagine being true; how much fun it is. It's hard to describe, but it's an amazing combination; it's a lot of pressure because you're in this huge movie, but there's also a lot of humor and a lot of jokes to break the tension. So it's a balance of those things. So I think people would generally be surprised at how much laughing goes on, on a set like that.

What do you guys think of these comments from actor Charles Parnell? How extensively do you expect the research to be when acting in roles in a film of this caliber?

Regardless of your take, be sure to check out our full video interview with Charles Parnell below. And, as always, share your thoughts in the comments.

Top Gun: Maverick is now available on digital.

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