Austin Butler Is No Top Gun, But He Finally Gets Lift In ‘Masters Of The Air’

Austin Butler appears to be a go-to guy when it comes to flight films.

During a conversation this week with Josh Horowitz for his Happy Sad Confused podcast at The 92nd Street Y, New York, Butler said he had been in the running for a role in Top Gun: Maverick. But he flew in a different direction.

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“I ended up having to choose between going to the screen test for Top Gun: Maverick or saying yes to Quentin Tarantino,” he said.

Butler decided to go with Oscar-winner Tarantino, fulfilling a personal dream.

“I’d already met with him, so I did that,” he said, which resulted in his role in 2019’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. Butler starred as Charles Watson, a member of Charles Manson’s cult.

Despite Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood’s release coming nearly three years before Top Gun: Maverick, they were filmed around the same time in the summer of 2018.

Butler’ consolation prize for missing out on Top Gun came this year. He’s in Apple TV+’s Masters of the Air, which sees him play pilot Major Gale Cleven, a.k.a. Buck.

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