Whether piloting jets or landing on the moon, Glen Powell is unabashedly soaring to new heights. Continuing his supersonic streak, Powell gears up for his long-awaited blockbuster—Top Gun: Maverick.
Austin native Glen Powell is constantly looking for his next great adventure.
“It’s the greatest version of icing the kicker… ever,” jokes actor Glen Powell reflecting on the twice-delayed debut of the highly anticipated Top Gun: Maverick. Having completed filming in 2019, the release of the epic undertaking from Paramount Pictures was put on hold due to the pandemic. Without batting an eye, Powell promises that the film, which is now set to hit theaters May 27, will be well worth the wait. “This movie delivers on every level. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen. It’s a true testament to why movies are made.”
Originally from Austin, the charismatic Powell studied at the University of Texas at Austin at the Department of Radio, Television and Film. Cultivating his craft from an early age, Powell first sank his teeth in the biz with smaller roles on television and in films. It wasn’t long, however, before he started making a name for himself on the scene. He secured a part in the Denzel Washington-directed movie The Great Debaters, which Powell credits as the role that gave him the confidence to know his childhood dream would in fact turn into a tangible career path. From there, it was game on.
Powell has proven himself to be one of the top actors to watch.
Spanning from The Expendables 3 to Hidden Figures, Powell has shared the spotlight with some of the most iconic names in the industry—Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, Octavia Spencer, Kevin Costner—need we say more? He has certainly found himself on the ride of a lifetime. When asked what has really struck a chord throughout his experience thus far, the charmer notes, “Kevin Costner really took me under his wing while we were filming Hidden Figures, where he shared something that has stuck with me. He [said], ‘As an actor, you have a beautiful responsibility for putting stories out in the world.’” From that point on, I started to look at and read scripts differently, making sure I would be proud of the ideas that these films represent. I just try and be really deliberate about my choices."
There is no doubt that Powell has worked hard to achieve his goals throughout his career. His resilient and engaging personality lends itself to his “light up the room” effect on those around him. “I never wanted to be the guy with my hand out,” says Powell. “I always wanted to be offering something, so instead of waiting on the perfect job, I just try and create it.” Powell shares that his upbringing has helped him stay grounded within such a fiercely competitive industry. “I think there’s a work hard, play hard mentality in Texas—that’s the DNA,” says Powell. “There is a fierce independence that Texans possess. We are resourceful and get the job done.” Currently living in Los Angeles, Powell frequently makes it back to his home state, where his family is sprinkled throughout Austin, Dallas and Houston. In fact, Powell is about to work on his fourth film with Richard Linklater—Hitman. “Houston is such a diverse clash of cultures, history, and embodies this Wild West mentality,” notes Powell. “It’s such a fun setting for a movie. We’re really excited about giving Houston the movie it deserves… Rick and I are working hard to bring more movies to Texas. It has every location that any filmmaker could ever want.”
Powell continues to make his mark as a writer, producer and actor.
It is undeniable that Powell is jet-setting on a trajectory worth taking note of. As he readies to star alongside Tom Cruise in the role of a lifetime, Powell reflects on his exhilarating ride—literally. “Tom was generous about putting us in planes in incremental bits so we could learn. We learned the basics of flight that got us prepared and ready for game day. Tom put the flight program together. He knew how intense it was from the first movie. It was a very merciful move,” jokes Powell. “Flying offers a new sense of freedom. At times I even felt like more of a pilot than an actor.” Powell promises that come next month, audiences will feel firsthand what it’s like to fly an FA18 fighter jet at 450 miles per hour through the canyons. “This movie is not just a story that delivers—it transcends you to a world that is exciting and adventurous. It tests the magic of movies in every way possible, and it will leave you walking out of the theater with a little more swagger.”