Like many blockbusters of 2020, Top Gun: Maverick was delayed many times before finding a 2021 release date. The sequel to the 1986 classic has been highly anticipated as it arrives 35 years after the original film. Along with the return of Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, there are newcomers to the fold, which includes Miles Teller. But according to the actor, he almost turned down starring opposite Tom Cruise.

In recent years, Miles Teller hasn’t been a stranger to huge blockbuster action films. He came to prominence through the Divergent franchise before starring in the ill-fated Fantastic Four reboot. So, Top Gun: Maverick isn’t outside of his wheelhouse. The sequel does mark a return to the genre after a small break as he plays Goose’s son, Lieutenant Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw. Recently Teller spoke with Men’s Health about almost turning down to star alongside Cruise.

I don’t want this to come out the wrong way, but there was a part of me that didn’t know if I wanted to be a part of something that could bring that much attention and success to me. Everybody views success differently. For me, it didn’t necessarily mean being a part of the biggest movie.

Miles Teller’s words ring true of an actor who wants to focus on his craft and remain under the radar. He seemed to understand a reduced amount of privacy and anonymity that could come once this film is released. He’s also been burned a couple of times doing films of this size.

Top Gun: Maverick will mark Miles Teller’s return to film after the release of the biopic Thank You for Your Service in 2017. He had shifted his attention towards smaller-scaled films such as Get a Job, War Dogs, Bleed for This and Only the Brave. The actor also recently appeared in the Amazon Prime series Too Old to Die Young.

Miles Teller’s film career began in the Nicole Kidman-headlined Rabbit Hole. He went on to star in a range of films from Footloose to The Spectacular Now to 21 & Over. The actor’s breakthrough role came as Andre Nieman in the Oscar-winning drama Whiplash. After the release of Top Gun: Maverick, he will lend his voice to the animated film The Ark and the Aardvark along with starring in Flag Day with Sean Penn and Josh Brolin and Spiderhead with Chris Hemsworth and Jurnee Smollett.

Miles Teller, like many actors, sees success through a different lens when it comes to defining Hollywood success. Given his past run of action blockbusters, he seemed to be cautious about all the trappings and pitfalls of being a successful actor in entertainment.

If you want to check out more of Miles Teller’s work, you can watch many of his films and television series streaming on Hulu, Disney+, Prime Video and YouTube. Top Gun: Maverick will arrive in theaters on July 2.

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