Who Was In Top Gun (1986) – Cast

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Almost everyone loves Tom Cruise and when it comes to his movies, Top Gun, which is a classic action film, is a must to watch considering it has captured the hearts and minds of audiences for decades. From its adrenaline-fueled aerial dogfights to its iconic soundtrack, the movie has become a cultural touchstone that continues to inspire and entertain people of all ages. 

One of the key factors that helped Top Gun achieve its legendary status was its talented cast, which included some of the most popular actors of the time, but who were they? 

In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the stars of Top Gun and explore the roles they played in making the movie an instant classic. 

What Was Top Gun About? 

Top Gun is an action-packed film that tells the story of a group of elite United States Navy fighter pilots that were sent to the Navy’s Fighter Weapons School, better known as “Top Gun”. The film follows the experiences of Maverick (played by Tom Cruise) and his RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) Goose (played by Anthony Edwards) as they compete with other pilots in the program and face danger both in and out of the cockpit. 

Along the way, Maverick also falls in love with his instructor, Charlie (played by Kelly McGillis), and grapples with the death of his father, who was a Navy pilot. The movie Top Gun is known for its thrilling aerial combat scenes, its portrayal of the Navy’s elite fighter pilots, and its iconic soundtrack, which features the hit song “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin.

Top Gun (1986) Cast 

The cast of Top Gun (1986) includes several well-known actors who brought their characters to life and helped make the movie the classic that it is today. Here are the main actors and the characters they played in the movie:

  • Tom Cruise as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a talented but reckless Navy pilot.
  • Kelly McGillis as Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood, Maverick’s love interest and a civilian Top Gun instructor.
  • Val Kilmer as Tom “Iceman” Kazansky, a rival pilot and Maverick’s chief competitor.
  • Anthony Edwards as Nick “Goose” Bradshaw, Maverick’s RIO and best friend.
  • Tom Skerritt as Viper, the commander of Top Gun.
  • Michael Ironside as Jester, a Top Gun instructor.
  • Tim Robbins as Merlin, one of Maverick’s fellow pilots.
  • Meg Ryan as Carole Bradshaw, Goose’s wife.
  • Rick Rossovich as Ron “Slider” Kerner, one of the rival pilots in Maverick’s class.
  • Whip Hubley as Rick “Hollywood” Neven, another one of Maverick’s classmates and a member of his crew.
  • James Tolkan as Stinger, the commanding officer of the aircraft carrier where Maverick and his fellow pilots are based.
  • Adrian Pasdar as Charles “Chipper” Piper, a pilot in Maverick’s class who clashes with him.
  • Barry Tubb as Leonard “Wolfman” Wolfe, one of Maverick’s fellow pilots.

The performances of these actors, along with the movie’s high-flying action and memorable soundtrack, helped to make Top Gun one of the most beloved films of the 1980s.

When Was Top Gun Released? 

Top Gun was released on May 16, 1986. The film was directed by Tony Scott and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer. It starred Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, and Anthony Edwards, among others. 

How Much Did It Make? 

Top Gun was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $350 million worldwide and receiving several award nominations, including four Academy Award nominations. The film is widely regarded as a classic of 1980s cinema and has had a lasting impact on popular culture, particularly in the realm of aviation and military films.

Awards – Top Gun (1986) 

Top Gun was nominated for four Academy Awards but did not win any of them. Here are the nominations:

  • Best Original Song (“Take My Breath Away” by Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock)
  • Best Film Editing (Billy Weber and Chris Lebenzon)
  • Best Sound Editing (Cecelia Hall and George Watters II)
  • Best Sound Mixing (Donald O. Mitchell, Kevin O’Connell, Rick Kline and William B. Kaplan)

While it didn’t win any Academy Awards, Top Gun did win several other awards and honors, including a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture, a BMI Film Music Award, and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for the song “Top Gun Anthem”. 

What Was The Budget Of The Movie? 

The budget of Top Gun was approximately $15 million. This was a relatively modest budget for a major Hollywood film even at the time, especially considering the ambitious aerial sequences and special effects involved in the production. However, the movie went on to become a massive box office success, grossing over $350 million worldwide and cementing its place as one of the defining films of the 1980s. Top Gun’s success helped to launch the careers of many of the film’s stars, including Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, and contributed to the enduring popularity of aviation and military-themed movies in American cinema.

Who Directed The Movie? 

Top Gun was directed by Tony Scott. Scott was a British film director and producer who had previously directed films such as The Hunger and Beverly Hills Cop II. Top Gun was one of his most commercially successful and acclaimed films, and helped to establish his reputation as a master of high-octane action and suspense. 

Where Was The Movie Shot? 

Top Gun was shot in various locations around the United States, as well as on board several U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. 

Here are some of the key filming locations for the movie:

San Diego, California

Many of the film’s exterior shots and ground scenes were shot in San Diego, where the movie is set. The filming locations in San Diego included Naval Air Station Miramar, which served as the setting for the film’s Top Gun school.


Several aerial sequences were filmed in the skies over Nevada, including scenes of dogfights and aerial maneuvers.

USS Enterprise

The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise served as the setting for many of the film’s key scenes, including the dramatic finale.

Other Locations

Additional scenes were shot in Kansas, California’s Mojave Desert, and at various other air bases and training facilities.

The combination of real-world locations and stunning aerial photography helped to give Top Gun a sense of authenticity and realism that remains one of its most distinctive features.

Frequently Asked Questions – Top Gun (1986) 

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Top Gun (1986): 

Who starred in Top Gun?

The lead roles in Top Gun were played by Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, and Anthony Edwards, among others.

When was Top Gun released?

Top Gun was released on May 16, 1986.

Who directed Top Gun?

Top Gun was directed by Tony Scott.

What is Top Gun about?

Top Gun is a military action film about a group of elite fighter pilots who train at the United States Navy’s elite Fighter Weapons School, known as “Top Gun”.

Was Top Gun based on a true story?

Top Gun was not based on a specific true story, but was inspired by the experiences of real-life fighter pilots and the training program at the real Top Gun school.

Who wrote the screenplay for Top Gun?

The screenplay for Top Gun was written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr.

What was the budget of Top Gun?

The budget of Top Gun was approximately $15 million.

Did Top Gun win any Academy Awards?

Top Gun was nominated for four Academy Awards but did not win any.

Where was Top Gun filmed?

Top Gun was filmed in various locations around the United States, including San Diego, Nevada, and onboard several U.S. Navy aircraft carriers.

Is there a sequel to Top Gun?

Yes, a sequel to Top Gun, entitled Top Gun: Maverick. The movie was released in 2022. Tom Cruise reprised his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, now a flight instructor at Top Gun school.

Do you think we missed out on anything important about Top Gun? Let us know if we did by leaving a comment in the comments section down below!