The infamous Top Gun: Maverick beach football scene may have looked flawless and fun on the screen, but the filming wasn’t without its issues, according to director Joseph Kosinski.
Kosinski was on hand for interviews during the 2023 Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday, Jan. 15. And he admitted that the cast was anxious ahead of filming the steamy takes. In the original Top Gun, the beach volleyball match-up with Maverick, Goose, and Iceman became one of the film’s most iconic scenes. So, the actors knew that theirs needed to live up to the hype.
The director told IndieWire that shooting the scene has become one of his favorite memories with Top Gun: Maverick. But he admitted that that day didn’t start off as well as it could have because everyone was feeling their nerves and Glen Powell, who stars as Hangman, threw himself into the game a little too hard.
“One that I get asked about a lot and a very memorable day, was when we shot the beach football scene,” he shared. “The actors were in a very kind of stressed-out state. They’d all been working so hard to get ready for that scene. They were under the pressure, the weight of the original scene being so iconic. I remember Glen went out 110 percent on the first play and hurt himself. But luckily recovered quickly and we were able to get a great version of it.”
The ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Director Said the Cast’s Real-Life Friendships Helped Make the Scene Perfect
The final product has possibly become more famous than its 1986 rival. After going viral for many reasons, including Miles Teller’s quick but swoon-worthy dance moves, Paramount even created a three-hour loop of the game and paired it with a Christmas tune as a much-appreciated gift to fans.
As Kosinski shared, the Top Gun: Maverick actors were able to make the scene magical because they were genuinely having a good time together, once the initial nerves passed.
“It was pretty easy because you know that scene’s all about teamwork and seeing a group of people enjoying hanging out with each other,” he continued. “And at that point, our cast had gelled so well in real life, that that was not a hard thing for them to do. You know playing football on the beach in San Diego. It was a really fun scene. So, for me, it was pretty easy.”