As Top Gun: Maverick is set to be released starring both new and familiar faces, fans question whether the ladies of the 1986 film will reprise their roles.
Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer are returning as Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell and Iceman respectively but one actress not returning is Maverick’s original love interest Kelly McGillis.
McGillis played leading lady Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Blackwood in the original Top Gun movie - a civilian instructor at the Top Gun pilot training school who captured the eye of Maverick.
But was she asked to return to the screen 30 years after the first movie? Here is everything you need to know.
Who is Kelly McGillis?
Kelly McGillis, is an American stage and screen actress who has been nominated for Golden Globes and BAFTAs across her four-decade career.
She has appeared in movies such as Witness, At First Sight and The Accused, on television in One Life to Live and Sweet Revenge, with Alec Baldwin, as well as many stage shows.
The 62-year-old has been married twice and entered a civil union with executive producer Melanie Leis in 2010. She currently lives in North Carolina with her two children Senora and Kelsey.
McGillis was diagnosed with alpha one antitrypsin disease five years ago, which is an inherited condition that could cause lung and liver problems, and has been undergoing treatment since then. In a recent interview she revealed she is focused on self-care and is a homebody as 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 return to play Charlie Blackwood in the upcoming Tom Cruise sequel after she was not approached by 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 relations with prior to attending the Top Gun school.
In an interview with ET, Kelly McGillis spoke about how she has shifted her priorities since the movie and wishes Connelly the best despite not knowing her.
What did Kelly McGillis say?
In the same interview, Kelly McGillis stated that she was never contacted about the new action movie.
She said: “Oh my God no they did not, and nor do I think they would ever.
“I’m old and I’m fat, and I look age-appropriate for what my age is. And that is not what the whole scene is about. To me, 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.”
She added that she would decide whether to attend promotional events nearer to the time.
“If and when it did happen, I would have to assess where I am, what I am doing and what’s going on.”
What did the Top Gun director say?
Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski spoke to Variety a couple of weeks before the movie’s premiere, highlighting that Meg Ryan, who starred in the 1986 film as Carole, Goose’s wife, was not reprising her role either.
“Those weren’t the stories we were throwing around - I didn’t want every storyline to always be looking backwards. It is 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), who is the late Goose’s son.
Kosinski added, “Penny Benjamin, a character we have heard mentioned but have never seen before, that was an amazing opportunity to bring Jennifer Connelly’s character into this film.”