Jay Ellis on what makes 'Top Gun' sequel soar to new heights

Actor Jay Ellis dishes on the new action thriller, “Top Gun: Maverick,” and the intense flight training he underwent alongside Tom Cruise.
3:14 | 05/23/22

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Transcript for Jay Ellis on what makes 'Top Gun' sequel soar to new heights
- Working as a team, you have to shoot me down or else. - Or else what, sir? - Or else I shoot back. - If I shoot either one of you down, you both lose. - This game is an ego check. - We'll see to that. - So what say we put some skin in the game? - What do you have in mind? - Whoever gets shot down first has to do 200 push-ups. - Guys, that's a lot of push-ups. - Well, they don't call it exercise for nothing, sir. - You got yourself a deal, gentlemen. Right on, let's turn and burn. - Yes, the wait is finally over. Yes, that was the scene from the highly-anticipated action-thriller Top Gun, Maverick, of course the sequel to the 1986 classic, Top Gun. TJ HOLMES: And you can expect a whole lot of dog fighting and fun. And our next guest is starring in the film. He is here in studio. Everybody, welcome Jay Ellis. [MUSIC - LADY GAGA, "HOLD MY HAND"] - Look at this guy! Hey! What's going on? Come on. - You got the song. - Good to see you, Amy. - You guys got to hold my hand, Lady Gaga requested it. TJ HOLMES: It's a great song. - It's a phenomenal song. TJ HOLMES: Do you remember shooting this movie? Because of the pandemic, really, this thing was supposed to be released-- was it 2020? - Originally, yeah. - But you-- remind folks, you shot this when? - We started fall-- late fall-- or, I'm sorry, early fall of 2018, and we shot until summer of 2019. TJ HOLMES: You were wrapped. And you've just been sitting around twiddling your thumbs. JAY ELLIS: Just been sitting, just hanging out, waiting for it to come out. [LAUGHTER] Any time. Just open the theaters up. Yeah. - Well, and you really got involved in the role because you actually learned how to fly a jet, a fighter jet. These things aren't just like a regular pilot would deal with. You've got a lot of fears. You've got to go at high speeds, do you have a G suit on? The oxygen mask? Tell me what it was like. - Yeah, it was crazy. You know, Tom created this flight training program for us. It was, like, 40 hours across three different types of aircraft, really to build your endurance in taking Gs, right? Because we would film these sequences anywhere from an hour to two hours, and you're pulling seven, eight Gs the entire time. And then you get in the F-18, and you're like, oh, my god, I'm strapped to a rocket. And it's tight in here. And also, you have to roll the cameras, and you have to do your own hair and makeup. And you're, like, telling a trained pilot how to fly his or her jet, right. It's this-- it's so insane. And it comes at you so fast. But then, like, the flight stuff kicks in, and, like, the training, really, at a certain point, like, you just-- you're in there, and you're a pilot. You feel good, and you're like, I got this. I could keep us in the air. [LAUGHTER] I can keep us in the air. AMY ROBACH: Can you land? Can you land the plane on an aircraft carrier? - Do you really need to land? [LAUGHTER] You know, the experience of flying is all about being in the air, you know what I mean? - If we put you in a jet right now, could you take off and fly that thing? - F-18, no. TJ HOLMES: OK. - But I could get us up and-- I could get us up in a Cessna. I could get us up in an EXTRA 300. AMY ROBACH: All right. TJ HOLMES: OK. - There's a few-- there's a few aircraft I could get us up in. AMY ROBACH: I can tell you, the hesitation was not making me feel great about getting in the plane with you. - I'd be-- I'd have a little issue with trust. Top Gun, Maverick in theaters this Friday. [LAUGHTER]

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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