Actor Val Kilmer has had a reflective couple of years, with the release of his memoir I’m Your Huckleberry in 2020, and his documentary Val in 2021. Of course, he discusses Top Gun in both, and talks about the bond between the young cast while filming the 1986 original.
Speaking to EW, Kilmer says; “We were all so young during the making of the first movie, but even then there was a special bond between us all,” says Kilmer today. “Even after shooting we would laugh and dance the night away!” Kilmer captured some of this partying in home-movie footage, which can seen in his documentary Val.
The footage reveals that there was a rivalry, but also camaraderie amongst the cast; “we were all at the start of our careers, with a film or two under our belts” and you can see them going through newspapers, finding adverts for movies such as Real Genius (starring Kilmer) and Revenge of the Nerds (starring Anthony Edwards) that were coming out. They are excited for each other and supportive, but also have a healthy sense of competition (not unlike the recruits at Top Gun).
As for the emotional reunion scene between Maverick and Iceman in Top Gun: Maverick; “Obviously [we] spent a lot of time on that scene, writing it, getting ready,” says director Joseph Kosinski. “I wasn’t sure how it was going to work. Chris McQuarrie put the final touches on the scene and really convinced me that that scene was going to work. And he was right.” Kilmer adds; “We blew a lot of takes laughing so much. It was really fun… special.”
Top Gun: Maverick is the rare legacy sequel that doesn’t feel like a cynical cash-in, and actually does elicit some genuine emotion from the fact that it’s 35 years since we last saw these characters. It’s also a pretty spectacular action movie.
Find out if Top Gun made our list of best 80s movies.