There are three pilots in the room of the Palais des festivals, in Cannes, Wednesday May 18: the general who commands the fighter planes of the air force, the lieutenant-colonel who directs the Patrouille de France, and a weirdo with a fairground costume. And then, on stage, there is Tom Cruise, the pilot of Top Guna 30-year-old man almost 60 years old (July 3), still streamlined like an airplane, dressed in black, teenage hair, killer smile, whom a thousand people standing up to applaud (all with – at least – a smartphone that filming), before he could even say a word.
” Top Gunthis is the film that made me want to be a pilotmurmurs, next to us, Lieutenant-Colonel Aurélien Hazet. I was 6 when it came out. » He is 42 today, he came to see and hear his mythical hero in this “master class” of the star among the stars (Taps, Risky Business, Rain Man, jerry maguire, Magnolia, Mission: Impossible 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6…), which stacks up for a sequel – Top Gun. Maverick- which hopes to be just as stainless.
At 4 years old, the actor dreamed of making films, he tells a room on high doses of opiates, which applauds each time he catches his breath. Make movies, see the world, and then fly: “I remember the time when I wanted to parachute: I took the sheets from my bed, I climbed on the roof… And just when you jump into the void, you say to yourself, but it’s is completely dumb. » He crashes to the ground. “For the first time, I saw stars in broad daylight, I said to myself: “Ah! It’s interesting”he said with his irresistible first communion smile. And then I got yelled at by my mother because the sheets were all dirty. »
“An aviation enthusiast”
The sympathetic lieutenant-colonel is delighted: “Tom Cruise is an aeronautical enthusiast, a real one”, we slip there. The day before, the Patrouille de France came to welcome the star at Nice airport, where he arrived from London aboard his private jet. Time for a debriefing between sons of the air. “In the back seat in the fighter planes, he told us how his challenge was to go beyond the stage of wonder in order to be able to play. »
At Air Base 701 in Salon-de-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône), 150 kilometers by flight from Rafale, the eight Patrol aircraft are preparing to take off. The climb of the steps, Wednesday evening, will be with an aerial parade, blue-white-red lines in the firmament. Top Gun French-style. As the meeting ends, the weirdo with the Albanian steward’s cap and an elegant blonde in red overalls, a naval aviation mechanic trend, try to get on stage. We think of a Femen. False alarm, she stays dressed… Tom Cruise is still smiling. We are worried that he will end up deaf from being applauded in this way.