Top Gun actress Kelly McGillis says she wasn't asked to return for the upcoming sequel, Top Gun: Maverick - and she didn't expect to be. In Tony Scott's original 1986 movie McGillis played Charlie Blackwood, a civilian instructor at the fighter pilot training school where Lieutenant Pete "Maverick Mitchell" is training.
Directed by Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick picks up three decades after the first movie, with Maverick still a captain and a fighter pilot. The first trailer for Top Gun: Maverick debuted at San Diego Comic-Con and showed Maverick back in the pilot's seat and riding his motorcycle, as well as the promise of another intense game of volleyball. However, there was no sign of Charlie and instead Maverick's new love interest in the movie will be played by Jennifer Connelly.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, McGillis said that she wasn't invited to return for Top Gun: Maverick, stating plainly that, "I’m old and I’m fat and I look age-appropriate for what my age is, and that is not what that whole scene is about." McGillis is 62 years old, five years older than star Tom Cruise. She seemed happy to sit the movie out, given that she is mostly retired from acting now and instead focused on her home life and her two daughters. "I’d much rather feel absolutely secure in my skin and who and what I am at my age as opposed to placing a value on all that other stuff," McGillis explained. Regarding Connelly's role in Top Gun: Maverick, McGillis said she's "so glad she got that opportunity."
McGillis went on to explain that she didn't leave Hollywood for any particular reason, but rather "got sober" and found that her priorities changed, and she decided to focus more on her family and home life rather than trying to maintain fame. She also said that she wasn't sure if she would attend the red carpet or any press events for Top Gun: Maverick, and revealed that she hasn't actually watched the trailer for the movie yet.
As McGillis' successor in the love interest role, Connelly will be playing a single mother who owns a local bar, and set photos from Top Gun: Maverick have shown her riding on the back of Maverick's motorcycle. Cruise has said that Connelly is "perfect" for the role, and described her as "very talented, very vibrant."
Top Gun: Maverick has only two other returning cast members besides Cruise (at least, that we know of): Val Kilmer is back as Iceman, and Tom Skerritt is playing Viper once again. Little is known about the plot of the sequel besides what was revealed in the trailer, but hopefully we'll find out more soon.
Source: Entertainment Tonight
- Top Gun: Maverick/Top Gun 2 (2020) release date: Jun 26, 2020