Tom Cruise gives advice to his younger self: 'Enjoy the ride' (Exclusive)

Tom Cruise has some very sage advice he'd love to have given himself 30 years ago.

Cruise, 56, spoke to ET's Carly Steel on Thursday at the Mission: Impossible - Fallout premiere in Paris. But Cruise wasn't shy about discussing another blockbuster project in the works: the long-awaited Top Gun sequel, which appears to be readying for takeoff.

Steel took the opportunity to dig up some amazing archival footage of Cruise's 1985 interview with ET on the set of the original Top Gun. Cruise couldn't help but laugh at his younger self's description of the film's hero, Maverick: "Very sure of himself. He loves his plane, he loves to fly."

"That is hilarious," the elder Cruise said, grinning widely.

When asked what advice he'd give his younger self after watching the clip, he didn't hesitate.

"Just enjoy the ride," he said.

18 PHOTOS
Tom Cruise through the years
See Gallery
Tom Cruise through the years
US actor Tom Cruise waves as he attends a press conference for his latest movie 'Edge of Tomorrow' in Tokyo on June 27, 2014. Cruise is here to promote the science fiction film, adapted from the novel 'All You Need Is Kill' written by Japanese novelist Hiroshi Sakurazaka. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
VIENNA, AUSTRIA - AUGUST 28: (EDITORS NOTE: Image was created as a still grab taken from video.) Tom Cruise sighted signing autographs on August 28, 2014 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Kai Danneberg/GC Images)
US actor Tom Cruise smiles as he attends a press conference for his latest movie 'Edge of Tomorrow' in Tokyo on June 27, 2014. Cruise is here to promote the science fiction film, adapted from the novel 'All You Need Is Kill' written by Japanese novelist Hiroshi Sakurazaka. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO (Photo credit should read YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)
OSAKA, JAPAN - JUNE 26: Tom Cruise attends the promotional event for 'Edge of Tomorrow' at the Dotonbori Riverside on June 26, 2014 in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)
CHICHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 31: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Tom Cruise watches the racing as he attends Ladies Day of Glorious Goodwood at Goodwood Racecourse on July 31, 2014 in Chichester, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, UNITED STATES: US actor Tom Cruise (R) waves to fans as he arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of new film 'The Others' which he executive produced with Paula Wagner (L), in West Hollywood, CA, 07 August 2001. The film stars Cruise's estranged wife Nicole Kidman. AFP PHOTO/ Lucy Nicholson (Photo credit should read LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images)
US actor Tom Cruise looks on as he takes a break from filming a scene in the movie 'Mission Impossible 5' on September 25, 2014, in the Kasbah of the Udayas near the Moroccan capital Rabat. The filming in Morocco of Hollywood action movie 'Mission Impossible 5' is to close off a section of a main highway for two weeks, the highways authority and local media said. AFP PHOTO / FADEL SENNA (Photo credit should read FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, UNITED STATES: Actor Tom Cruise holds his Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Drama for his role in 'Magnolia' at the 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, CA 23 January, 2000. AFP PHOTO (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) Vince BUCCI/mn (Photo credit should read Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images)
SYDNEY - JUNE 01: AUSTRALIAN ACTRESS NICOLE KIDMAN AND ACTOR HUSBAND TOM CRUISE OUT IN SYDNEY. (Photo by Patrick Riviere/Getty Images).

Tom is all the way on the left in the bottom row. Were you able to spot him?

Credit: Jason Winslow/Splash News

Credit: Jason Winslow/Splash News
Credit: Jason Winslow/Splash News
Credit: Jason Winslow/Splash News
Credit: Jason Winslow/Splash News
Credit: Jason Winslow/Splash News
Credit: Jason Winslow/Splash News
Credit: Jason Winslow/Splash News
Credit: Jason Winslow/Splash News
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Work on the sequel appears to be coming together. Last month, it was revealed that Val Kilmer signed on to reprise his role as Maverick's one-time rival, Iceman. And the film now has the co-star who will play the son of Maverick's late co-pilot, Goose: Fantastic Four star Miles Teller, whom Cruise said is a natural.

"He's a very dedicated actor, he's going to be amazing," Cruise said. 

Cruise is definitely a far cry from the brash, young actor who was on the cusp of superstardom before Top Gun flat-out destroyed the summer box office in 1986. In talking about his role in Mission: Impossible - Fallout, he instead describes a more careful, deliberate approach -- particularly when he talks about his fear of damaging the historic buildings and monuments in Paris during action scenes.

"I was very careful. When I'm driving, I'm acting, so I have cameras hanging off. I'm acting, and I'm drifting around, and I'm just doing everything I can not to hit [anything]," Cruise told ET. "I've got to get close to the buildings, but I can't hit any. I didn't and I'm very relieved about that."

Mission: Impossible - Fallout hits theaters July 27.

RELATED CONTENT:

Tom Cruise Doubles Down on Risking His Life in New Look at 'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' (Exclusive)

Tom Cruise Shares Epic First Photo of 'Top Gun' Sequel

Tom Cruise Breaks Down 'Terrifying' Stunt in New 'Mission: Impossible - Fallout' Trailer (Exclusive)

Read Full Story