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Glen Powell: Getting the Credit He Deserves

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There’s a running joke on Twitter currently that Glen Powell‘s parents have seen Top Gun: Maverick in theaters a total of fourteen times, elated that their son is playing on the big screen right now. Powell tweeted that this movie is making his parents go broke, but it’s all in good fun. Powell plays Lieutenant Jake Serensin; his call sign “Hangman”, a cocky pilot who finds himself in a rivalry with another pilot played by Miles Teller; Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw. Top Gun: Maverick has surpassed the earnings of Avengers: Infinity War and has become the sixth highest grossing movie in the history of the U.S. The sequel to the original Top Gun has been so successful, there have even been murmurings about Tom Cruise winning an Oscar for the reprise of his character.

Glen Powell as Hangman was a great choice for the film, but MSN states that Powell wasn’t entirely thrilled about the premise of the character. Powell commented about the first draft of the script and made a statement regarding the lack of character development Hangman had. The actor wasn’t too enthused about playing a pilot who didn’t have compassion toward others and at least didn’t make amends with Rooster toward the end of the film. Screenwriter of the film, Christopher McQuarrie, went back and rewrote Hangman’s character, made some major development, and Powell agreed to do the movie. Which is great, because Top Gun: Maverick has really launched the stardom that Powell should’ve had years ago.

Related: Paramount Pictures Moves to Dismiss Top Gun: Maverick Copyright Lawsuit

In 2015, Glen Powell started to become well-known with his character Chad Radwell in Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens. This slasher/comedy show became a cult classic after airing on Fox for two seasons, with Powell carrying the scenes he was in on his back, with his perfect comedic timing and tone. In a hilarious article by Bustle, the author highlights that the character of Chad Radwell was beloved and hated at the same time, gaining attention from viewers with his one-liners and flashy outfits. Powell’s stardom started to rise within the show, but the series was sadly canceled after just two seasons, with fans missing Radwell’s brash personality on their screens every week. Radwell wasn’t necessarily a himbo; a term used for goofy/dumb male characters, but more so represented as a person with a silver spoon in his mouth since birth, and wasn’t afraid to tell people that.

Things started to take off for Powell after the show ended, as he took on the role of Finnegan in Everybody Wants Some!! as well as John Glenn in Hidden Figures. Both films are extremely credible, especially his role in Hidden Figures, playing the real life astronaut who was actually the third man in space. He lent his voice to the children’s show Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous before landing the biggest movie of his career; Top Gun: Maverick. Powell has proven that he’s a versatile actor, even though he takes several roles that put him in a position of wearing a uniform, whether he’s portraying a Lieutenant or a Sergeant. While Scream Queens had a stacked cast featuring Emma Roberts, Keke Palmer and Jaime Lee Curtis, Powell held his own in the series and became extremely memorable. After Top Gun: Maverick was released, many fans took to Twitter to talk about how shocked they were to find out Chad Radwell was in the film.

Related: Glen Powell’s Best Performances, Ranked

It’s easy to say that a white actor in his thirties who just starred in the biggest movie in the world, doesn’t need help. That might be true, but actors who aren’t appreciated enough or recognized for the versatile qualities, is a sad case that can be fixed. Take Leonardo DiCaprio, who is a distinguished actor with several notable roles under his belt, and he only has one Oscar award to show for it. Powell is on a steady track to really have something big, and it’ll only work out if he continues to get cast in big/notable roles and receives accolades for his work. Powell was rumored to be cast as Cyclops in the next phase of the X-Men movies, but he quickly shut that down, stating that he hasn’t heard anything from anyone about being the iconic laser-eyed character.

In 2018, Powell alongside Zoey Deutch, starred in Netflix’s rom-com Set It Up, and critics, fans, and romantic movie lovers went nuts for it. Powell and Deutch played wonderfully off of each other, perfectly portraying slight enemies, to good friends, to lovers tropes that hopeless romantics eat up. The slow burn of the film was what really set it apart from what Netflix was making at the time, appealing to individuals who enjoy slower romance films, but still like to predict how it’s going to play out. In this film, Powell proves he’s more than a forgettable side character; his first ever film credit being the “Long Fingered Boy” from Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. Powell’s character, Charlie Young, is lovable and goofy, audiences swooning for him as he swoons for Deutch’s character, Harper Moore.

Set it Up proves that Glen Powell needs and deserves more main character roles in his future, especially more rom-com films, since Netflix did so well. It’s exciting to see where Powell’s career is going to take him, and where it could possibly lead award-wise, and has us wondering if he could be the next Leonardo DiCaprio.

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