Top Gun’s Rick Rossovich on That Volleyball Scene, Bonding with Val Kilmer, and Inspiring Kronk

You may also remember Rossovich for being very memorably killed in the first Terminator film , or for his turn as an ineffectual cop in Walter Hill’s gonzo biker-musical extravaganza Streets of Fire, or for his bigger role in the slightly less reputable cult film Navy SEALS, opposite Charlie Sheen and Bill Paxton.

When you were making Top Gun, did you have any sense that the film would become so huge?Well, I had made a movie with Tom before, called Losin’ It, which was a teenage comedy romp directed by Curtis Hanson.

Movies can really grind you down and spit you out, so that by the end of the movie sometimes you’re hating everybody, you’re hating yourself.

I mean, let’s face it, what’s kept it going in the popular imagination is stuff like the sight of you guys on the beach with your shirts off.

Back when I started, in the late ’70s, people who were gym rats and working out and doing this and that — there was spacing.

You can see all those subtle things in the movie: If you just watch me, see how I stand around him, how I walk around him.

Cyrano de Bergerac, to be able to get into a story like that, to have a literary classic to delve into every day and shape our sensibility … I’m so thankful to get a role like that.

I did a crazy movie called Paint It Black, directed by Tim Hunter, where I played an artist who was pulled into a Strangers on a Train situation.

One of the story artists for that movie, Chris Williams, told me he had you and your character from Roxanne in mind when he first came up with the character that became Kronk.

For me to get that and then to go off to London and shoot it, to have that experience, to get away from America, away from my life, to be immersed in the film set, a period piece, a big studio film.

It’s one of the reasons my career narrowed, because I wouldn’t take any work for summers, and eventually I just wanted to stay in my garden.

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