Great Balls of Fire: Anthony Edwards Reveals Inspiration for His ‘Top Gun’ Call Sign

Adam Pockross
Content Producer
Movie Talk
Anthony Edwards
Anthony Edwards

Does the name Nick Bradshaw ring a bell? No? How about Nick "Goose" Bradshaw?

Yeah, that Goose. The one who flew with Maverick, or at least the one who got to sit really close by while Mav pushed the envelope. The one with the big smile and sweet 'stache. The one who broke our hearts.

In 1986, Goose, aka Anthony Edwards, helped "Top Gun" become the biggest movie of the year. Tom Cruise may have helped a bit too. But without Goose, the heart and soul of the film, it's fair to say the film never would have reached such spectacular heights.

[Related: Q&A: Dane Cook Has More In Common with a Plane Than You Might Think]

Goose just made you love him. He was a charming, affable, loyal, funny, good guy. And it's probably no coincidence that Anthony Edwards is the same way.

Thanks to "Disney's Planes," we recently had the unique chance to find out how Goose-like Edwards really is. Edwards plays Echo, an F-18 jet fighter, who along with his wingman Bravo (voiced by Iceman, aka Val Kilmer), helps Dusty (Dane Cook), the crop-duster-turned-globe-trotting-aerial-racer, overcome a rough ride.

Fighter jets Bravo and Echo in Disney's "Planes"
Fighter jets Bravo and Echo in Disney's "Planes"

You can see Echo and Bravo in action in our exclusive clip, and in theaters this weekend. But while Edwards certainly soars in his minor "Planes" role, it's his previous flight time that got him the gig. So when we got the chance to interview Edwards before the "Planes" premiere on Monday, we weren't shy about asking all the "Top Gun" questions we'd been storing up over the past 27 years.

Watch our exclusive interview with Anthony Edwards:

Among Edward's revelations — like why he's the only one wearing a shirt in the volleyball scene and how he learned he'd be performing "Great Balls of Fire" the day they filmed it — we were extremely keen on finding out if Edwards had any complaints about having such a fowl call sign. Cause honestly, though the name is oddly fitting, Goose doesn't really sound as cool as fellow fliers Mav, or Ice, or Slider, or Jester, or Viper, or even Hollywood or Merlin.

But it turns out, as you can see in the video above, Edwards had no say in his call sign at all. According to Edwards, Goose is named after the call sign of a real aviator, who tragically died in a similar fashion. "That's the myth I was told," said Edwards.

[Related: Get Local Showtimes & Tickets for 'Disney's Planes']

In what has turned into a bit of a wild goose chase, we've been scouring the Internet and flexing our Rolodexes trying to confirm the "myth." Alas, as of now, Edwards is our only source. But we don't think Goose (or Dr. Mark Greene for that matter) would steer us wrong – certainly not intentionally. (If any of you know the whole story, please let us know in the comments.)

Regardless of where it came from, or how cool it is, Goose is a name we'll always associate with Mav's loveable sidekick, who felt the need for speed, and took us all along for the ride.

Watch an exclusive clip from Disney's "Planes" with the voice of Anthony Edwards:

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