21. But the Navy couldn't legally leverage the movie for recruiting
They could provide the jets, carriers, and expertise necessary to get the movie made and ensure the script was sufficiently Navy-friendly, but they couldn't call up potential recruits and ask, "Oh, hey, have you seen Top Gun? It'll be just like that." They did figure out a clever workaround, though, with the above commercial that evokes Top Gun through a vastly shittier knockoff version of "Danger Zone." The US Navy: where resourcefulness never sleeps, because this terrible song is always blaring.
22. The actors prepared by going on real Navy missions
Tony Scott filmed real planes flown by real Navy pilots, but the final ingredient that helped him achieve the kind of in-air tension and excitement CGI will never match was having the actors all ride along on F-14 hops. (Kilmer was the only cast member who refused, because experiencing things makes great performances impossible.) Whatever you think of the acting generally, during the cockpit scenes, every alarmed head-turn and "Shit, that was close!" comes from a place of true manic exhilaration. For those scenes, I'll take a legitimately pumped-up Rick Rossovich over any actor ever, even Eddie Redmayne (or Val Kilmer).