• Matthew Modine almost starred in Top Gun
  • The role instead went to Tom Cruise
  • Get the whole story here

Matthew Modine nearly took a very different path to movie stardom in the 1980s.

The actor is best known for playing "Pvt. Joker" in 1987 war film Full Metal Jacket. But just one year earlier, he turned down the leading role in one of the biggest movies of the '80s: Top Gun.

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In 'Top Gun', Cruise plays a...

Why Matthew Modine rejected lead role in Top Gun

Yes, Matthew Modine nearly played "Maverick" in Top Gun and was the choice before Tom Cruise landed the part, which solidified his status as a bona fide star.

Tom Cruise in Top Gun 

Watch the video above to learn why Modine passed on Top Gun in the 1980s.