Top Gun: Maverick Star Tom Cruise made a rare late-night TV appearance and sat down with Jimmy Kimmel on Friday, as the two opened up about why Cruise insisted that ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ be given a lengthy, exclusive released theatrically before it was streamed (it’s currently on Paramount+) – and how long it would have lasted.

On “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”, Cruise was asked about the pressure from various people in Hollywood to stream the sequel during the pandemic, as the film was originally scheduled for release in June 2020.

Cruise explained that if he had to wait a decade for “Top Gun: Maverick” to hit theaters, he would have.

“I assumed you were being pressured, by anyone – movie studios, investors or whoever to stream the movie, you said ‘no’ and you got it. held for two years, you were I guess a billion and a half good bucks,” Kimmel told Cruise, referring to the film’s worldwide box office.

Cruise laughed as the audience cheered and said, “People have been asking for the movie for 34 years, and I thought a few more years would have been nice.”

“I would have lasted 10 years,” Cruise said when answering Kimmel’s question. “The film is made for the screen. I did it for the theatre. We have all done it. We all did it for the theater. It wasn’t just me.

Cruise explained to Kimmel that everything he does is driven by giving the audience the best experience.

“When I make a movie, I want to go see it with an audience,” Cruise said. “When they really enjoy it, that’s what I want. I make my film for the public and for all of you, so it’s a pleasure. I just want to entertain you.

Kimmel asked Cruise when he saw these movies if people in the audience recognized him. Cruise said he was often spotted by fans and gladly took pictures with them.

Kimmel replied, “You always do. You are really very patient. It’s almost annoying how patient you are with everyone.

Kimmel and Cruise also talked about the daring stunts the 60-year-old performs in his various movies, including the “Mission: Impossible” franchise. Kimmel said he thought it was important for people to know that Cruise is the only person doing these stunts and played a clip of Cruise jumping out of a helicopter in a remote area.

“How many times have you shot it? asked Kimmel. “It was dangerous.”

“I jumped off that eight times,” Cruise replied. “It was wild.”

Cruise added, “I just try to do everything I can, use every tool I have to entertain the audience. So even when I was little, I used to steal wood from a junkyard, and I would go down the hill as fast as I could – hit the ramp and go over the trash cans. It did not work.

Cruise explained that he failed to empty the trash cans, in fact, he crushed them. However, he told Kimmel that from childhood until now, his goal has been to do whatever it takes to please his audience.

Considering “Top Gun: Maverick’s” six Oscar nominations and nearly $1.5 billion box office, we’d say Mission accomplished.