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Inside Actor Anthony Mackie's Love For 'Top Gun'

Jul 26, 2012
Originally published on July 26, 2012 1:40 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

All summer long, our colleagues at NPR's weekends on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED have been asking some of their guests - particularly filmmakers, actors and writers - about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

Today, we bring you this one from an actor known for roles in Oscar-winning films like "The Hurt Locker" and "Million Dollar Baby." Most recently, he starred in "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ANTHONY MACKIE: My name's Anthony Mackie. I'm an actor. The movie I've seen a million times is "Top Gun," directed by Tony Scott, starring Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, the beautiful Kelly McGillis and Anthony Edwards.

I was about 11 or 12. I was really into airplanes the first time I saw "Top Gun," and it was on TV. And all I see are these F-16 Tomcats, like, falling into the frame.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOP GUN")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: You're vector 090 for bogey.

MACKIE: I was, like, this is amazing, and I was completely just enthralled by it.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOP GUN")

TOM CRUISE: (as Maverick) Mustang, this is Maverick. Mig two is headed home.

MACKIE: The movie is about a young, hot pilot named Maverick. Maverick and Goose are partners, and Goose is his spotter. He's the guy in the back of the jet that tells him what's going on, but he's also his best friend.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOP GUN")

ANTHONY EDWARDS: (as Goose) (Singing) You shake my nerves, and you rattle my brain.

MACKIE: You have Val Kilmer, who's Iceman, who is the other hot pilot.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOP GUN")

CRUISE: (as Iceman) What's your problem, Kosinski?

VAL KILMER: (as Maverick) I don't like you, because you're dangerous.

MACKIE: There's this scene where he bites at Maverick, and it's the weirdest moment in film history, but it works. When he bites in his face it's, like, ooh, that guy is sleazy.

(LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOP GUN")

RICK ROSSOVICH: (as Slider) Remember, boys, no points for second place.

MACKIE: They go to an academy called Top Gun, where the Navy invites all of the best pilots so that they can compete and try to win this honor of being the top gun.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOP GUN")

MICHAEL IRONSIDE: (as Jester) Top Gun was created to teach ACM: Air Combat Maneuvering. Dog-fighting.

MACKIE: Cut to music.

(Singing) Living on the edge, living on the - right.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DANGER ZONE")

KENNY LOGGINS: (Singing) The further on the edge, the hotter the intensity.

MACKIE: Tom Cruise and Goose goes to a bar and meet this beautiful woman, and they sing a rendition of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" a cappella, to where the entire word starts singing to this woman.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOP GUN")

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Singing) You've lost that loving feeling, whoa, that loving feeling. You've lost that loving feeling, now it's gone, gone, gone, whoa, whoa, whoa.

MACKIE: Tom Cruise then learns in the next scene that Kelly McGillis is his instructor. So they have this brief love affair...

(Singing) Take my breath away.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TAKE MY BREATH AWAY")

MACKIE: There's one scene where Tom Cruise goes over to her house, and they get in this big fight. And he goes out on his motorcycle, and she's like...

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOP GUN")

KELLY MCGILLIS: (as Charlie) My review of your flight performance in the past is right on.

MACKIE: And he's revving his motorcycle.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOP GUN")

CRUISE: (as Maverick) I can't hear you.

MACKIE: And then he rides off. It's, ah, pure drama.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "TOP GUN")

MCGILLIS: (as Charlie) I was afraid that everyone in the tax trailer would see right through me, and I just don't want anyone to know that I've fallen for you.

MACKIE: I think the older I get, the more corny it gets, because now I just watch it and I laugh at it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TAKE MY BREATH AWAY")

MARTIN: That's Anthony Mackie, talking about the movie that he could watch a million times: "Top Gun."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DANGER ZONE")

MACKIE: You like that? That's really my ringtone. If you call me, that's what comes on on my phone. That's weird, right?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DANGER ZONE")

MARTIN: And that's our program for today. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.