In London last night, the UK premiere of Top Gun: Marverick. And, naturally, because this is a Tom Cruise movie and Tom Cruise is always extra AF, they went full throttle with the presentation. Leicester Square was a spectacle, a huge maze of digital screens was set up outside the theatres, several stages were built for celebrity arrivals and interviews, and a display jet was brought in, with Pete “Maverick” Mitchell emblazoned across the side, to serve as a backdrop for the cast when they formed the assembly line to meet the attending royals, Prince William and Catherine of House Cambridge.
You know what I have always appreciated most about the British royal family? Their punctuality. It was confirmed in advance that they were scheduled to arrive at 730pm and leave at 1030pm – and they showed up EXACTLY at 730pm. I swear, their feet touched the carpet just as clock turned 730pm. Why can’t celebrities be like this?!
Anyway, Will and Kate show up and they’re first greeted by representatives from the Film + TV Charity. The premiere was in support of the organisation and its work with members of the UK screen industry. After that, Tom Cruise took over and it really seemed like he was Will and Kate’s host for the event which, of course, shouldn’t be all that unusual because he’s one of the film’s producers but it is atypical because think of all the times you’ve seen the royals at these kinds of film premieres in the past. Like at a James Bond premiere, for example. Daniel Craig wouldn’t be the one ushering Will and Kate down the line of actors for their handshakes and brief chats, he’d be part of that line, waiting to shake Will and Kate’s hand and speak to them for 30 seconds before they moved on to the next actor in the queue.
Tom Cruise actually had a job last night. He and Jerry Bruckheimer met Will and Kate at the stairs leading to the display jet where the rest of his cast was waiting in the receiving line and he brought them up to make each introduction personally, stepping in now and again with a few words and moving them along so that they could all stick to time. And at no time was there a royal press officer stationed close to Will and Kate (doing the work that a publicist would do for a celebrity) because there didn’t need to be – like I said, Tom Cruise was doing that work for them! The press officers were hanging back, no worries, because Tom was handling it. Which, obviously, would have been negotiated beforehand, with Tom’s team and the royal communications team working out ahead of time how the situation would roll out.
I’m telling you these details because it shows how particular he was about how last night was presented. It was almost as though it was his house – the King of Movies was receiving the Prince and Princess of England and he personally welcomed them to his home, the Castle of Cinema. You don’t see this often, or ever. And the flex here is that even though he was attending to Will and Kate, and guiding them up and down the carpet to meet the cast, and then inside the theatre for another receiving line of producers, in that position, he became their equal. Because he was bossing the whole show.
And taking Kate’s hand up the stairs. This is the shot that’s getting the most play:
And I was juuuuuuust talking yesterday about his chivalry. When I wrote yesterday about how Tom Cruise performed chivalry in Cannes with Jennifer Connelly and how he’s turned this into a signature move in his professional life, one day later he’s doing it with the future Queen of England!
I watched it happen in real time, and right away I turned to my friend all like, OMG lol, look, Tom is presenting Kate! Another Kate! And my friend responded, I wonder if anyone’s going to turn this into a thing. The answer is yes. Immediately there were headlines about him taking her hand, the perfect gentleman, even though supposedly you’re not supposed to touch royals. But to go back to my original point, in this case, Tom’s not just anyone. If the premiere was a movie, he was playing the part of a monarch welcoming another to his kingdom. His chivalry here isn’t just manners, it’s also a flaunt of power and position.
Tom’s hosting duties weren’t just limited to the royals either. There were three theatres connecting to the red carpet last night screening the movie in Leicester Square. After hosting Will and Kate’s arrival, Tom left them briefly while they met with guests from various charities to pop into each theatre with director Joseph Kosinski and Jerry Bruckheimer to give a short introduction. I was in the IMAX theatre and we were his first stop. He thanked people for coming, he told us how important it was to him that Top Gun be shown on the big screen, and he talked about how proud he was of the movie. The crowd went bananas for him. I was seated next to a group of air ambulance first responders who were fist-pumping the whole time. Speaking of fist-pumping…
That’s basically what this movie is – a two hour fist-pump. Be ready for it when you see it, because even the English audience, not known to be as boisterous as North American ones, was hooting and hollering throughout the film. Which is… well… exactly the kind of response you want from a Top Gun experience. Even Will and Kate seemed more animated than usual when they were talking to the cast. Obviously I couldn’t hear what was being said but the enthusiasm was unmistakable. And with a lot of these cast members, like Jay Ellis, Glen Powell, and Miles Teller, their whole vibe is informal and loose, you could see that effect on the Cambridges overall demeanor.
As for the fashion, Will had F-18s stitched onto his shoes, a real fanboy. And in honour of Tom Cruise, Kate brought out a brand new dress instead of a re-wear. This is Roland Mouret, it fit her perfectly, but you know what the real surprise was? THE HAIR.
The hair was good! The hair was not an old lady updo! The hair was just a fresh blowout, no clumping waves, middle part and kept off her shoulders, falling down her back. Lol, can Tom Cruise take credit for this, too?