‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Star Jay Ellis Recalls Hilarious Story of Being Called Back to Reshoot Shirtless Beach Scene

by Alex Falls

Top Gun: Maverick is the certified movie of the summer. When the film soared into theaters on Memorial Day weekend few could have predicted just how massive it would become. The sequel now ranks as the sixth highest-grossing film at the North American box office. And it’s the 12th highest film in worldwide history.

The film is stuffed full of action-packed and memorable scenes. But one of the most memorable scenes is the epic beach football scene. All of the actors showed off some seriously toned bodies during the game. But most people probably wouldn’t realize the amount of work that goes into such physiques.

Jay Ellis plays Lieutenant Reuben “Payback” Fitch in Top Gun: Maverick. Like his fellow stars from the film, he showed off some impressive moves during the game. During a recent interview with Screen Rant, Ellis described a funny situation that came out of filming the epic sequence.

After starving themselves for weeks to make sure they looked their best for the scene, the team treated themselves to a major cheat day once they were done filming.

The Work Behind the Famous Beach Scene in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’

“Yeah, you know, we all went out the night after we shot that scene,” Ellis said. “We all went out to a place downtown San Diego, I think it was called Busby’s, it was a tots place, it was like tots and wings, that was kind of their specialty.”

“We all sat around and had a beer and ate wings and tots and dessert, like sweets and cookies and cakes, and Danny ate a ghost pepper hot wing and literally like burned his lip, because he just took, I mean, just a massive bite. But we all did that and we all paid for it, because about three or four days later, our first A.D. and Tommy, our executive producer, walks over to us and they’re like, ‘Yeah, we gotta shoot that again.'”

Ellis continued saying, “From that moment, everyone was like, back to broccoli for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus we were on treadmills, plus we were working out, plus we were in the sauna sweating just to get ready to reshoot it.”

All of those extra calories were hopefully worth it. A few days later they were back on set filming the now famous beach scene again. But you can hardly tell they let their diet go for just one night.

Top Gun: Maverick is still playing in theaters. The critically adored film has played for nearly three months and yet it’s still bringing in the big bucks. If you’ve been waiting to catch the film from the comfort of home, it was finally released to digital outlets this week. However, the film really is meant to be seen on the biggest screen possible. Catch it in theaters while you can.