The Iconic Top Gun Scene That Had To Be Added After Filming

Tony Scott's "Top Gun" has one of the most enduring legacies of any film made during the 1980s. It was the highest-grossing movie of 1986 (per Box Office Mojo) and helped propel Tom Cruise to superstar status. Moreover, that legacy is set to continue later this year when the long-awaited sequel, "Top Gun: Maverick," debuts in theaters. The original movie follows a young naval pilot named Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Cruise) as he vies for the top trophy in the Top Gun fighter pilot academy in San Diego, California, while wooing Charlie (Kelly McGillis), one of the academy's civilian instructors. Along the way, Maverick is forced to confront new and old forms of heartbreak as he grapples with the disappearance of his father (who was also a fighter pilot) during Vietnam, as well as the death of his navigator, Goose (Anthony Edwards), during a routine training mission.

With all of that in mind, "Top Gun" went through some notable edits and reshoots during its production. This is not an uncommon practice in Hollywood, as numerous films utilize test screenings to pinpoint where specific story beats need to be fleshed out or excised from the film altogether. "Top Gun" was no different, and it turns out that some key narrative beats from the hit 1986 action movie were added in reshoots.

Top Gun's love scene was added in reshoots

In a 2013 interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, "Top Gun" star Kelly McGillis opened up about the reshoots that went into making the film. Recalling her time working on the set, McGillis noted that the infamous love scene between Charlie and Maverick was added in reshoots because the original cut of the film did not include one. When the film was screened for test audiences, it was decided to add one to help further explore the romance between the characters.

"Well, we never shot one," McGillis said, explaining the scene's inclusion in the movie, "When we were originally shooting the movie, and I guess after they had done some screenings of the film, they decided they needed one. So, they called us back, and we shot one."

The scene in question takes place shortly after Charlie criticizes Maverick's flying in front of his peers. He storms out of the academy and speeds his motorcycle through the streets of San Diego, with her in pursuit, trying to explain her actions. The two eventually confront one another on the side of the road, at which point Charlie confesses her love to Maverick. After sharing a kiss, the film then cuts to them making love in a blue-tinted room while Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" plays. It is arguably one of the most iconic sequences in "Top Gun" and has been frequently parodied in the years since the film hit theaters.

However, it might surprise viewers to realize that it was not the only scene added to the film late in its production.

The elevator scene was also added in reshoots

The blue tint for the love scene was important because it allowed the crew to hide the fact that Kelly McGillis was sporting an entirely different hairstyle from Charlie's blonde locks seen elsewhere in the film. However, that tactic only worked in the love scene and did not work for the other major sequence that had to be added for the theatrical release of "Top Gun." Specifically, the actress wore a baseball cap to hide her newly brown hair for the scene in which Charlie and Maverick flirt in an elevator.

"But, anyway, I was doing another movie and I wouldn't cut my hair," McGillis said (via Yahoo! Entertainment), "So, in the elevator scene, which we shot at that time as well, they put me in a baseball cap and then [in the love scene] it was all silhouette because I had dark brown hair."

Much like the love scene, the "Top Gun" elevator scene has since gone on to develop a legacy of its own in the annals of pop culture. In fact, it is even referenced by Quentin Tarantino's character in the 1994 film "Sleep With Me" in a now-iconic rant about the purported homosexual subtext of the movie (via YouTube). Alas, with McGillis not set to return in "Top Gun: Maverick," audiences will soon get a chance to see Maverick woo a new love interest in the form of Jennifer Connelly's Penny Benjamin (via IMDb).