Will Kelly McGillis Star in Top Gun: Maverick? Where is she now

Tom Cruise’s original love interest in the 1986 film Top Gun, Kelly McGillis, will not appear in the upcoming sequel

With Top Gun: Maverick set to release with new and familiar faces, fans are wondering if the ladies of the 1986 film will reprise their roles.

Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer return as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell and Iceman, respectively, but one actress not returning is Maverick’s original love interest, Kelly McGillis.

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McGillis played the lead actress Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood in the original Top Gun film – a civilian instructor at Top Gun’s pilot training school who caught Maverick’s eye.

But was she asked to return to the big screen 30 years after the first film? Here’s everything you need to know.

Who is Kelly McGillis?

Kelly McGillis is an American stage and film actress who has been nominated for Golden Globes and BAFTAs over a four-decade career.

Kelly McGillis in Top Gun 1986 (Image: Getty)

She has appeared in films such as Witness, At First Sight and The Accused, on television in One Life to Live and Sweet Revenge with Alec Baldwin, and in many stage shows.

The 62-year-old has been married twice and entered into a civil partnership with executive producer Melanie Leis in 2010. She currently resides in North Carolina with her two children, Senora and Kelsey.

McGillis was diagnosed with alpha-1 antitrypsin disease, an inherited condition that can cause lung and liver problems, five years ago and has been treated ever since. In a recent interview, she revealed that she is self-care focused and a homebody since she couldn’t remember the last time she worked.

Will Kelly McGillis Reprise Her Role in Top Gun: Maverick?

It has been revealed that McGillis will not be returning to play Charlie Blackwood in the upcoming Tom Cruise sequel after she was not approached by the producers.

Instead, Jennifer Connelly (Labyrinth, Beautiful Mind) stars as Penny Benjamin, Maverick’s new love interest. Penny was mentioned in the original film as the “admiral’s daughter” who Maverick had relationships with prior to attending Top Gun School.

Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in Top Gun (Image: Getty)

In an interview with ET, Kelly McGillis opened up about how she’s shifted her priorities since the film and wishes Connelly well despite not knowing her.

What did Kelly McGillis say?

In the same interview, Kelly McGillis explained that she was never contacted about the new action film.

She said: “Oh my god, no they haven’t, and I don’t think they ever would.

“I’m old and fat and look age-appropriate for my age. And that’s not what the whole scene is about. I’d much rather feel totally comfortable with who I am and who I am at my age, rather than valuing all these other things.”

She added that she will decide whether to attend promotional events as the time draws near.

“If and when it would happen, I’d have to assess where I am, what I’m doing and what’s going on.”

What did the Top Gun director say?

Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski spoke to Variety a few weeks before the film’s premiere and emphasized that Meg Ryan, who starred in the 1986 film as Carole, Goose’s wife, was also not reprising her role.

“These weren’t the stories we were throwing around – I didn’t want every plot to always look backwards. It’s important to introduce new characters,” he said.

The new film follows Maverick’s relationships with Penny (Connelly) and Iceman (Kilmer), as well as Rooster (played by Miles Teller), the late Goose’s son.

Kosinski added, “Penny Benjamin, a character we’ve heard of but never seen before, was a great opportunity to bring Jennifer Connelly’s character into this film.” Will Kelly McGillis Star in Top Gun: Maverick? Where is she now


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