“Top Gun: Maverick”‘s Beach Football Scene Reportedly Injured Actor Glen Powell

The injury wasn't serious, thankfully

Glen Powell
Glen Powell attends the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on January 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Monica Schipper/WireImage

Much like its predecessor, Top Gun: Maverick features a scene in which most of its cast takes part in a heated game on the beach. In the former film, the game was volleyball; in the case of its sequel, it’s football. Two-way football, in fact — for which there are legitimate plot reasons, but which also made for one of the more lighthearted scenes in a relatively serious film.

But even onscreen fun requires offscreen work. In the summer of 2022, Paramount released a behind-the-scenes video showing much of the cast working with free weights and resistance bands on the set — and it sounds like things got competitive in other ways as well.

As director Joseph Kosinski told IndieWire, one member of the cast decided to — to paraphrase another film in which fighter pilots loom large — push the outside of the envelope.

“The actors were in a very kind of stressed out state, they’d all been working so hard to get ready for that scene,” Kosinski recalled. “They were under the pressure, the weight of the original scene being so iconic. I remember Glen [Powell] went out 110 percent on the first play and hurt himself, but he was able to recover quickly and we were able to get a great version of it.”

It’s reassuring to hear that whatever the nature of Powell’s injury was, it was minor. And, strangely enough, the idea of the beach football scene inspiring a real-life injury seems entirely in keeping with the spirit of the scene, and its blend of recreation and intensity.

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