Fans are curious about how old Kelly McGillis was in the 80s classic because they compare new pictures of her to old ones. Even though it was one of the most anticipated summer movies, McGillis did not return in 2022 to play Tom Cruise’s love interest.
Even though she wasn’t in the new Top Gun movie, the actress made headlines this week after a photo of her and Tom Cruise went viral. After seeing the picture of the two actors from 1986 and this year, some people have asked how old Kelly McGillis was in Top Gun.
Why isn’t Kelly McGillis in the Tom Cruise movie Top Gun: Maverick?
Kelly McGillis became well-known for her role in the movie Top Gun as the flight instructor who falls in love with Tom Cruise. But what happened to actress Kelly McGillis, who isn’t in the sequel that came out more than 30 years later?
In the sequel, Tom Cruise’s character Pete “Maverick” Mitchell is back to train new Top Gun graduates for a special mission. Among them is Rooster, the son of his late best friend Goose (Miles Teller).
In flashbacks, the 2022 movie shows Goose Bradshaw, who was played by Anthony Edwards in 1986, and Carole Bradshaw, who was played by Meg Ryan. But Ryan wasn’t the only performer in Top Gun: Maverick who didn’t get a second chance.
In Top Gun, Kelly McGillis played Maverick’s love interest, Charlie. She is not in the second movie. Instead, the pilot brings back Penny Benjamin (Jennifer Connelly), who is mentioned in the first movie as the daughter of the admiral who has a history with Maverick but is not really shown.
McGillis told Entertainment Tonight in 2019 (when Top Gun: Maverick was being filmed) that she wasn’t asked back because she was getting older. However, director Joseph Kosinski told Insider that McGillis and Ryan aren’t in the sequel because their roles would change the new stories.
Five years separate McGillis and Cruise.
The actress played Charlie, Tom Cruise’s character Maverick’s love interest. In real life, Cruise and the actress are five years apart in age, but they played each other on screen.
When the 1980s movie was made, Cruise would have been 22 years old. He was born on July 3, 1962. Like McGillis, Cruise’s birthday would have been a month into filming. This means that he would have been 23 for most of the production and when the movie came out.
In the new version of the 80s classic, Cruise played Maverick again, but McGillis did not have any part in the project. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight before the new Top Gun movie came out in 2019, McGillis, who was then 62 years old, said she hadn’t been asked to be in it.
She hinted that her age might have been a reason. She said, “I’m old, I’m fat, and I look my age, but that’s not what that whole team is about.”
Where Top Gun actress Kelly McGillis is now
Before the now-65-year-old actress became famous in the 1980s because of the success of Top Gun, she was traumatized by something that happened at her home. Two men allegedly broke into her apartment in 1982, threatened her with a knife, and sexually assaulted her.
The incident stayed with McGillis as she entered her career on-screen and, according to People, led her to later begin to rely on drinking. The Reading Eagle says that the actress hasn’t used drugs since 2001, which is also when she took a break from Hollywood.
McGillis was out of the public eye for about six years before she appeared in the 2008 TV drama The L Word. Having stepped back into the world of entertainment, over the past 14 years, the actress has featured in several film projects and TV series with her most recent credit being the anthology series Dirty John which also starred Christian Slater, Connie Britton, and Julia Garner.
Does Kelly McGillis still talk to the cast of “Top Gun”?
“Strange things, movies. I don’t talk to anyone very often, “In 2019, the actress told ET that she hadn’t seen the trailer at that time. “I think I’ve talked to a few people here and there, but the truth is that making movies is a very strange job because people come from all over the world to work together.”