The clip, directed by Top Gun: Maverick helmer Joseph Kosinski, follows Gaga as she sings at an airfield in the middle of the desert, while flashes of Cruise — who reprises his role in the 2022 sequel as Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchel — show the actor reminiscing on key moments from the Tony Scott-directed original. One moment sees Cruise staring at photos from his past before cutting to a shot of him holding Goose (Anthony Edwards) in the ocean as the character dies.
Cruise has said that Gaga’s work on the film was key to highlighting the sequel’s heart.
“There was a sound we were looking for…. she presented her song to us and it just opened up the whole movie,” he said on The Late Late Show. “It opened those doors to the emotional core of the film that we had. That moment, things just came together in such a beautiful way. The song she’d written just fell right in and became, really, the underlying score and the heartbeat of our film.”
Gaga previously said that the song was a “love letter to the world” amid difficult times.
“When I wrote this song for Top Gun: Maverick, I didn’t even realize the multiple layers it spanned across the film’s heart, my own psyche, and the nature of the world we’ve been living in,” she wrote on Instagram upon announcing the track. “I’ve been working on it for years, perfecting it, trying to make it ours. I wanted to make music into a song where we share our deep need to both be understood and try to understand each other — a longing to be close when we feel so far away and an ability to celebrate life’s heroes.”
In addition to penning “Hold My Hand” as an original song for the film, Gaga also contributed to the Top Gun: Maverick score with Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe, and Harold Faltermeyer, who worked on the original Top Gun soundtrack in 1986.
“There’s always music in my heart, in the works. It’s just about [asking], ‘What will it be?'” she explained when asked about releasing new pop music for the first time since unveiling her Grammy-winning 2020 album Chromatica. “I’m not ready to answer that yet. But what I will say is that… I’m always thinking about music. It just comes out in different forms.”
Top Gun: Maverick is in theaters on May 27. Watch Gaga’s “Hold My Hand” music video above.
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