LONDON – Lewis Hamilton says he had to turn down an offer to feature as a fighter pilot in Tom Cruise’s hit movie “Top Gun: Maverick” because of his Formula One commitments.
The seven-time world champion told Vanity Fair he had been desperate for a part.
“Basically I’m a friend of Tom Cruise,” the 37-year-old Mercedes driver said. “He invited me to his set years ago when he was doing ‘Edge of Tomorrow’, and then we just built a friendship over time.”
Hamilton said he had been a huge fan of the original 1986 “Top Gun” movie.
“When I heard the second one was coming out, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, I have to ask him.’ I said ‘I don’t care what role it is. I’ll even sweep something, be a cleaner in the back’, he recalled.
Offered a part as a pilot, Hamilton said he had to decline it in “the most upsetting call that I think I’ve ever had”.
The Briton also talked about the trauma of losing last year’s title to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the last lap of the final race in Abu Dhabi after a safety car controversy.
Hamilton said it was when his “worst fears came alive”.
“I was like, there’s no way they’re going to cheat me out of this. There’s no way. That won’t happen. Surely not,” he explained.
“I do remember just sitting there just in disbelief. And realizing I’ve got to undo my belts, I’ve got to get out of there, I’ve got to climb out of this thing, I’ve got to find the strength,” he said of how he felt post-race.
“I had no strength. And it was one of the toughest moments, I would say, that I’ve had in a long, long time.”
The Briton also clarified a comment he made this season in a row over the wearing of jewellery during races, when he told reporters he had a body piercing in a place he could not explain.
“I don’t have any other piercings anywhere,” he said.
FILE PHOTO shows Lewis Hamilton bumping fists with Tom Cruise before the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circu