‘Top Gun: Maverick’: Goose Actor From the Original Reacts to Seeing the Sequel for the First Time

Top Gun: Maverick is different in so many ways. It’s a movie sequel that brings in an almost entirely new cast. And it’s different from previous Tom Cruise films with its massive opening weekend and billion-dollar box office. Cruise and Val Kilmer are the only actors from the original Top Gun to appear in Maverick. Anthony Edwards’ Goose died in the original movie, but his presence is all over Maverick, and the actor loves how the filmmakers made it work.

Anthony Edwards as Lt. Nick "Goose" Bradshaw in 'Top Gun.' Edwards was blown away by 'Top Gun: Maverick,' including how much Goose is in the film despite the actor not appearing on screen.
Anthony Edwards as Lt. Nick “Goose” Bradshaw | CBS via Getty Images

Anthony Edwards’ “Goose” is one of several characters from the original ‘Top Gun’ that don’t appear in ‘Maverick’

It makes sense Edwards doesn’t appear as “Goose” in Top Gun: Maverick — his character dies in a training accident midway through the first movie. But aside from Val Kilmer’s Iceman, several actors whose characters made it to the end of the movie don’t appear in the sequel.

Rick Rossovich played Slider in Top Gun, but he didn’t garner a mention in Maverick. Still, the actor created a story for what happened to his character. Meg Ryan’s character, Carole Bradshaw, the mother of Maverick’s Bradley “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller), died offscreen in the years between the two movies.

Kelly McGillis played Cruise’s love interest, Charlie, in the first movie, and she was pleased not to be asked to join the sequel. The actor didn’t want to appear in the original, and she has long since stepped out of the Hollywood limelight.

Goose’s ghost hangs over Maverick, and Edwards loves how Cruise and the filmmakers approached having his character be integral to the film.

Edwards reacts to seeing ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ for the first time, jokes about how much Goose is in it even though the actor isn’t 

As we mentioned, the story in the Goose-less Top Gun: Maverick still heavily involves Edwards’ character from the 1986 film. Edwards is almost like an uncredited, unseen co-star as he jokingly told Entertainment Tonight:

“It’s the biggest movie that I’m in that I never had to show up for a day of work, so it was fun,” Edwards said.

Edwards made those comments at the Tribeca Film Festival, where he revealed he didn’t attend the Maverick world premiere, but he still got to see the movie before most people.

“If you do the first movie, you’re lucky enough … Tom [Cruise] called me up. He screened it for me in person. So, we actually saw it at the Dolby screening room here in New York with the best sound ever, and there was just, like, eight of us watching it. It was fantastic.”

Fantastic also describes Edwards’ reaction to Top Gun: Maverick. Similar to most fans of the movie, the Goose actor was blown away.

“People had a certain feeling in the original one, and [Top Gun: Maverick] does exactly what it felt like seeing it the first time, only more so,” he told ET. “As I said to Tom, ‘mission accomplished.’ They did it. They really did though. It’s a lot of work that went into that. It had the feel, it had the tone, it had what people wanted.”

What’s Your Callsign website lets fans immerse themselves in ‘Maverick’ experience

Edwards already has his Top Gun Goose call sign immortalized. As the son of the character, Teller chose his Maverick call sign based on Edwards’ moniker from more than 30 years ago.

Now, fans can join the flight crew (in a way) with the What’s My Call Sign? website. All would-be fighter pilots need is a web camera to have the site assign you a call sign and a flight helmet. After inputting a first name, users answer three questions to get their Top Gun: Maverick call sign. 

Receiving a call sign might not be as exciting as seeing Top Gun: Maverick for the first time, as Edwards can attest, but it’s another way the blockbuster movie can keep its momentum going.

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