The pair reunited for the new film, which comes over 30 years after the original, and Tom told Entertainment Tonight how he "rallied hard" to get Val into the first action movie.
WATCH: Tom Cruise in the new official Top Gun: Maverick trailer
"The first one, I really rallied hard for him to make the movie," Tom said of Val. When discussing a powerful scene in the new movie, he added: "The kind of talent that he has, and you see that scene [in the new film], it's very special, it's just very special."
Val, who shared in 2021 he had been battling cancer, admitted in his memoir I'm Your Huckleberry that he "wasn't too proud" to beg for a spot in the sequel.
"He was calling it Top Gun: Maverick. Well, Tom was Maverick, but Maverick's nemesis was Iceman. The two went together like salt and pepper," the actor wrote.
"It didn't matter that the producers didn't contact me. As the Temptations sang in the heyday of Motown soul, 'ain't too proud to beg.'"
Val will have a small role in the new Top Gun
Val starred in his own documentary in 2021 as well and his son Jack, 26, narrates much of the documentary using Val's own words.
He candidly spoke out about his throat cancer and how it has affected his life, six years after his diagnosis and a life-changing tracheostomy that permanently damaged his vocal cords.
At one point, Val admits: "I can't speak without plugging this hole [in his throat]."
Val shared in 2021 he has been battling cancer
He then shared that he now uses a feeding tube, as "you have to make the choice to breathe or to eat".
"It's an obstacle that is very present with whoever sees me," he added. But he revealed that he is "sounding much worse than I feel," and that he has no regrets.
"I have behaved bizarrely to some. I deny none of this and have no regrets because I have lost and found parts of myself that I never knew existed," he shared. "I am blessed."
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