Celebrating from a distance. Tom Cruise wasn’t in attendance at the 2023 Oscars on Sunday, March 12, despite Top Gun: Maverick receiving six nominations.
Cruise, 60, didn’t attend the awards show because he is filming Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part II overseas, Us Weekly can confirm. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is expected to accept the Best Picture award if their film wins while the actor is in the U.K. (Glenn Powell also confirmed via Instagram that he wouldn’t be at the awards show.)
Although Cruise and Powell, 34, had to skip the ceremony, his costars Jennifer Connelly, Jay Ellis, Miles Teller and Lewis Pullman were in attendance at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Fans of the action-drama film are also in for a surprise with Lady Gaga‘s planned musical appearance after it was originally announced that she would not be able to attend — or perform — at the Academy Awards.
“We have great relationships with Lady Gaga and her camp [but] she’s in the middle of shooting a movie right now, and here we are honoring the movie industry and what it takes to make a movie,” Oscars producer Glenn Weiss said on Wednesday, March 8, during the Oscars Creative Team press conference, referring to Gaga’s role in the Joker sequel Folie à Deux. “After a bunch of back and forth, it didn’t feel like she can get a performance to the caliber that we’re used to with her, that she’s used to and all that stuff.”
Hours ahead of the Oscars, ABC confirmed that the actress, 36, was in the building for the awards show after all. Gaga’s song “Hold My Hand,” which she collaborated on with BloodPop and Benjamin Rice, is nominated for Best Original Song. Top Gun: Maverick is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects and Best Drama Film at the 95th Academy Awards too.
The film, which is a sequel to the original 1986 film, also featured stars such as Val Kilmer, Jon Hamm, Monica Barbaro and Ed Harris.
Powell previously praised Cruise for the advice he offered him while working together on set.
“Sometimes you can fall into the trap of wanting to be liked on camera,” the Scream Queens alum told Kate Hudson during Variety’s “Actors on Actors” interview in December 2022. “And in a movie like this, where you know there’s going to be a lot of eyes on it, you don’t want to be Draco Malfoy.”
According to Powell, the Jack Reacher star suggested that he lean into being the antihero of the movie. “For the ending to work, you have to completely lean into that. Everybody else in the movie is questioning their own ability,” the Texas native recalled at the time. “You’re the only guy that’s not questioning it. So, if there’s any sort of apology in anything you say, the movie doesn’t work. Lean into the douchebaggery of it all.”
The Set It Up star noted that Cruise showed support for his other projects as well.
“I found that [Devotion] book and developed that for five years, so when I missed out on the Rooster role, the conversation I had with Tom was, ‘Hey, I didn’t get this role, but I actually have a naval aviation movie I’ve been developing. Maybe that’s just what I’m going to do,’” Powell added. “And he convinced me that there’s room for two. And I’m really happy, because everything I learned on Top Gun got to be infused into Devotion.”
Pullman, 30, meanwhile, credited Cruise for putting in the hard work to make Top Gun: Maverick a box office hit.
“I had to just transform into a sponge and just absorb, absorb, absorb because it was a new lesson every day. I mean, he is a Titan,” Pullman exclusively told Us in June 2022. “I’ve never seen anyone approach filmmaking the way he does, and I’ve also never seen someone that far into their career who still has such drive, has such curiosity, has such passion has such a reluctance to settle, is always trying to make even the smallest scenes better. And he’s so invested in learning about, I mean, he’s already learned about it, but in every asset of filmmaking, he seems to have a vast understanding of every particle that goes into making a good movie that everyone around the world can relate to. And so that was just incredible, incredible to watch.”