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Lewis Hamilton admits regret at turning down role in £1.3bn mega blockbuster

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LEWIS HAMILTON has opened up on his regret of turning down a role in blockbuster Hollywood flick Top Gun: Maverick.

Back in 2018, Hamilton was invited to star in the second instalment of Tom Cruise‘s Top Gun series, having previously expressed a desire to be in a movie.

Lewis Hamilton has revealed his regret at not being able to star in Top Gun: Maverick

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Lewis Hamilton has revealed his regret at not being able to star in Top Gun: MaverickCredit: Campbell Addy/ GQ
Tom Cruise offered Hamilton a chance to star as a pilot in the blockbuster during filming in 2018

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Tom Cruise offered Hamilton a chance to star as a pilot in the blockbuster during filming in 2018Credit: Getty

However, despite his eagerness to be part of the action Hamilton was unable to take on the role due to his own dog fight with Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel for the 2018 Formula One title.

Speaking to GQ Magazine, the 39-year-old has admitted he wishes he was able to be part of the film but did not want to let the movie down.

The seven-time F1 champion explained how he had unexpectedly been invited to the set of 2014 movie Edge of Tomorrow by Cruise before pleading for a role in Top Gun 2 if one was ever made over dinner.

He said: “I said, ‘Dude, if you ever do Top Gun 2… I will even be a janitor – just let me be in it’.”

However, when a chance to star in the film – which made £1.3billion at the box office in 2022 – as a pilot actually cropped up, Hamilton could not take it due to his F1 commitments.

Hamilton explained: “Firstly, I hadn’t even had, like, an acting lesson. And I don’t want to be the one that lets this movie down. And then secondly, I just really didn’t have the time to dedicate to it.

“I remember having to tell Joe [Kosinski] and Tom – and it broke my heart. And then I regretted it, naturally, when they show me the movie and it’s, ‘It could’ve been me’!”

Despite the setback, Hamilton did not let it stop him from stepping into the film industry, revealing how he had found himself on a Zoom call with Top Gun director and producer duo Joe Kosinski and Jerry Bruckheimer a couple of years later.

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In 2022, Hamilton launched his own film and TV company – Dawn Apollo Films – with two huge projects, the first being an F1 film with Brad Pitt and the second a documentary about Hamilton’s life.

The F1 blockbuster Hamilton is producing is being directed by Top Gun: Maverick director Kosinski and has already seen filming for it done during last season’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

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However, Hamilton revealed he was more than aware of the potential problems with such projects.

He said: “My point was: Guys, this movie needs to be so authentic.

“There’s two different fan groups that we have – like, the old originals, who from the day they’re born hear the [BBC] Grand Prix music every weekend and watch with their families, and the new generation that just learned about it today through Netflix.

“I felt my job really has been to try to call BS. ‘This would never happen. This is how it would be. This is how it could happen.’

“Just giving them advice about what racing is really about and what, as a racing fan, would appeal and what would not.”

Hamilton added he does not feel a need to be competitive with other motorsport movies such as “Le Mans”, “Ford v Ferrari”, “Rush” or most recently “Ferrari”.

He said: “I do watch all of them. But one thing I think you’ll learn about me is I don’t like to – we live in such a judgemental world, and having seen how, for everything, building something from scratch and creating takes so much time and commitment from so many people.

“So I never like to be someone to dog anything…

Hamilton has since started a film and TV company which will see Brad Pitt star in an F1 film

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Hamilton has since started a film and TV company which will see Brad Pitt star in an F1 filmCredit: Getty

“Capturing racing is really, really difficult, and I don’t think anyone’s been able to really capture it in a way that brings the adrenaline you have as a racing driver.

“If you look at the old movies, with [Steve] McQueen, the big camera on the helmet and the guy lying on the front of the car to capture the shot?

“You should see some of the cameras that Joe is able to use. He’s a visionary.

“I don’t feel competitive with these movies. But I guess we probably will be.”

Hamilton’s interview with the fashion mag also saw him talk about the controversial conclusion to the otherwise thrilling 2021 F1 title fight.

In the final lap of the season in Abu Dhabi, Max Verstappen overtook Hamilton after “human error” from race director Michael Masi in implementing the rules for a safety car restart.

This season is Hamilton’s final year with Mercedes after announcing he would join Ferrari for the 2025 season.

But he has struggled on track with his highest finish so far being seventh in the opening weekend, though he will hope to improve at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

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