Tom Cruise reflects on 'Top Gun' role, gives younger self advice

Tom Cruise has some very sage advice he'd love to have given himself 30 years ago.

Cruise, 56, spoke to ET's Carly Steel on Thursday at the "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" premiere in Paris. But Cruise wasn't shy about discussing another blockbuster project in the works: the long-awaited "Top Gun" sequel, which appears to be readying for takeoff. 

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Steel took the opportunity to dig up some amazing archival footage of Cruise's 1985 interview with ET on the set of the original "Top Gun." Cruise couldn't help but laugh at his younger self's description of the film's hero, Maverick: "Very sure of himself. He loves his plane, he loves to fly."

"That is hilarious," the elder Cruise said, grinning widely.

When asked what advice he'd give his younger self after watching the clip, he didn't hesitate.

"Just enjoy the ride," he said.

Work on the sequel appears to be coming together. Last month, it was revealed that Val Kilmer signed on to reprise his role as Maverick's one-time rival, Iceman. And the film now has the co-star who will play the son of Maverick's late co-pilot, Goose: "Fantastic Four" star Miles Teller, whom Cruise said is a natural.

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"He's a very dedicated actor, he's going to be amazing," Cruise said.

Cruise is definitely a far cry from the brash, young actor who was on the cusp of superstardom before "Top Gun" flat-out destroyed the summer box office in 1986.

In talking about his role in "Mission: Impossible - Fallout," he instead describes a more careful, deliberate approach -- particularly when he talks about his fear of damaging the historic buildings and monuments in Paris during action scenes.

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"I was very careful. When I'm driving, I'm acting, so I have cameras hanging off. I'm acting, and I'm drifting around, and I'm just doing everything I can not to hit [anything]," Cruise told ET. "I've got to get close to the buildings, but I can't hit any. I didn't and I'm very relieved about that."

"Mission: Impossible - Fallout" hits theaters July 27.