Yes, Miles Teller Really Could Have Ended Up With Jet Fuel In His Blood From Shooting ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

Miles Teller has some incredible stories from the set of Top Gun: Maverick. The unexpected box office smash is one of the top-grossing films of the year, and Teller says being part of it affected him in ways he didn’t expect. During an appearance on Late Night with Seth Myers, Teller revealed that filming the popular sequel caused him to get jet fuel in his blood. Yes, it’s actually true!

Miles Teller and Tom Cruise point at each other as they attend the Global Premiere of "Top Gun: Maverick" on May 04, 2022 in San Diego, California
Tom Cruise and Miles Teller | Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

Miles Teller broke out into hives on the set of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

The 35-year-old actor shared that when he was working on Top Gun: Maverick, he started feeling unwell one day and broke out into hives.

“We landed, and I’m just like, ‘Man, I’m not feeling too good.’ I was really hot and I just started itching like crazy. So I get out of the jet and I’m just covered in hives — like, head to toe,” Teller recalled.

He took an oatmeal bath to get some relief, then went to the doctor to get a blood test. Teller then revealed that when the results came back, they showed he had “flame retardant, pesticides, and jet fuel” in his blood. 

How did the ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ star get jet fuel in his blood?

With the stars of Top Gun actually filming scenes with Navy fighter jets during production, it’s not surprising that Teller ended up with jet fuel in his blood. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, humans can be exposed to jet fuels JP-5, JP-8, and Jet A when they work closely with those products. 

“Military or civilian personnel who are employed in jet fuel transport, storage, or re-fueling activities will have the greatest exposure via inhalation and dermal routes to these substances,” the agency’s Jet Fuels ToxGuide reads. 

“Occupational exposure could involve exposure to raw fuel, vapor phase, aerosol phase, a mixture of vapors and aerosols, or fuel combustion exhaust.”

The agency says that studies of military personnel have shown that exposure to JP-8 can affect the nervous system, which can result in changes in reaction time and other tests of neurological function. 

Having jet fuel in his blood didn’t faze Miles Teller

Teller insists that when he found out he had jet fuel in his bloodstream, he wasn’t fazed. Instead, he thought it was “actually kind of cool”– especially when he started feeling better. 

The experience also led to him having a “very Tom [Cruise] moment.” He says that when he returned to the Top Gun set, his co-star asked him about the test results. 

“I was like, ‘Well, Tom, it turns out I have jet fuel in my blood,'” Teller said. “Without even skipping a beat, Tom just goes, ‘Yeah, I was born with it, kid.'”

Teller stars alongside Cruise in the sequel to the 1986 classic. Cruise is back as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, who returns to Naval Fighter Weapons School — aka Top Gun — to train graduates for a special assignment. 

One of those graduates is Teller, who plays Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw — the son of Maverick’s late friend Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards), who died in the first film.

Top Gun: Maverick is expected to hit streaming platforms in September 2022 and be released on BluRay and DVD in October. 

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