Top Gun: Maverick Star Talks Training For Shirtless Beach Scene, Recalls Hilarious Moment He Heard Co-Star Glen Powell Whispering To Himself

Glen Powell in Top Gun: Maverick
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick has absolutely killed it at the box office, and there's a certain shirtless beach scene that may have contributed to its success. (I mean, many fans are still drooling over Miles Teller and company in the viral scene.) Maverick star Lewis Pullman has now shed some light on the cast's training for the sequence, in which he was actually not-so-shirtless. He also recalled the moment that he heard co-star Glen Powell whispering a hilarious mantra to himself.

Lewis Pullman plays Lt. “Bob” Floyd in the recently released box office hit, and his character is a little different from the buff fighter jet pilots we see in the film. He’s a little more reserved and honestly kinda nerdy. Some might've assumed that Bob’s personality may have influenced the creative decision to have the character keep his shirt on during the football game on the beach. And in an interview with US Weekly, Pullman explained that this was indeed the reason he didn’t feel it would be in character for Floyd to pop off his shirt. During the chat, Pullman went into more detail as to what Bob's mindset is as it pertains to the scene. Here it is in his own words:

The whole cast was undergoing some serious battles of impulse to get ready for that scene. Everyone was working out like crazy. I was playing Bob, who’s a bit more of a library dweller. I was like, you know, I think it’ll just feel a little dissonant if Bob takes his shirt off and he is a little ripped. I also think Bob wouldn’t take his shirt off. I think that’s kind of maybe an uncomfortable thing for him to do. I think he’s a bit more of a kind of reserved, quiet guy. He kind of likes to watch how things play out before he really inserts himself into a situation. And so I was one of the only people who really wasn’t hitting.

It's already known that Tom Cruise put the cast of Top Gun: Maverick through the wringer in preparation for their roles. Apparently though, Cruise didn’t need to encourage them to bust their bums ahead of their shirtless beach football scene, because the weight of looking good in the scene was enough pressure to force them into action.

In the same interview, Lewis Pullman recalled the moment he overheard Glen Powell, who plays Hangman in the film, chanting something under his breath to himself while working out. (You do have to find your source of intrinsic motivation for things like this, right?) And it's hard not to crack up just thinking about this saying:

I mean, I would go into the gym just out of camaraderie. Glen Powell infamously one time was doing some lateral flies and was whispering something to himself really intensely. And I was like, ‘Glen, what are you saying?’ He was like, ‘Montage’s last forever.’

Honestly, that sounds like the perfect meta movie moment, and I would kill for an extended version of said montage in a director's cut. More realistically, the very real moment shows how much pressure the stars were under to look their best in a scene that has proven to be pretty damn iconic. So kudos to them for committing. Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if the scene doesn’t live rent free in Top Gun fans’ heads for years, just like the infamous volleyball scene from the original film has.

In fact, a rewatch of the original Top Gun film is almost a necessity either before or after watching Maverick (one of 2022's biggest new movie releases), if not for shirtless scene enjoyment then simply for comparison purposes. Yeah, definitely not for the oiled up abs and shirtless beach scenes. 

Carlie Hoke
Content Writer

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.