Kelly McGillis wasn’t asked to be in Top Gun remake, is happy for Jennifer Connelly

Some Top Gun fans may have been holding out hope that Kelly McGillis was going to make even a cameo appearance as Charlie in Top Gun: Maverick, which will be released on June 26, 2020. Kelly didn’t appear in the trailer, which was released two weeks ago. Kelly McGillis told Entertainment Tonight that she “wasn’t invited to be part of the [film]”:

When ET exclusively chatted with the 62-year-old actress over the phone on Friday, she told us that she was not asked to be a part of the upcoming Joseph Kosinski-directed sequel.

In the original Top Gun, released in 1986 and directed by Tony Scott, McGillis portrayed the role of Charlie, the bombshell love interest of Maverick, played by Tom Cruise.

“You know what, I don’t know how to answer that because one, it hasn’t happened,” McGillis said when asked if she would attend any of the promotional events surrounding the new film. “Two, if and when it did happen, I would have to assess where I am, what I’m doing, what’s going on … I can’t project what I would or wouldn’t do in the future. I have no idea because I don’t know where I’ll be.”
According to ET, McGillis said she hasn’t even seen the sequel’s trailer yet.

“Movies are odd things. I don’t really keep in touch with anybody,” she continued, adding that she has yet to see the trailer for the sequel. “I think I’ve spoken to a couple of people occasionally, but the truth is, movies are very odd work situations because you have a lot of people who come together from all different parts of the world.”

When asked what she thinks about Connelly stepping in as Maverick’s love interest, McGillis told us that although she doesn’t know the 48-year-old actress, she is “so glad that she got that opportunity.”

“I’m glad for her,” she added.

“I think just my priorities in life changed,” she continued. “It wasn’t like a major decision that I made to leave, it was just that other things became more important. I love acting, I love what I do, I love doing theater, but I don’t know. To me, my relationships to other people became far more important than my relationship to fame.”

[From ET Online]

Kelly doesn’t seem to be bothered about not being asked to be in the sequel because acting isn’t her number one priority anymore. She told ET that when she moved away from acting full-time her priority “was raising my girls and being the best sober parent I could be.” She also said she needed to work on her identity, which was completely tied to being an actress. She wisely chose herself, her health and her family over making movies.

Kelly probably also knows that if she said that she was hurt because she wasn’t asked to be in the movie, there would be articles for days about how she was just bitter, that Tom Cruise was the “real” star, blah blah blah. She’d also run into trouble if she didn’t say something supportive about Jennifer Connelly. (Not that I think she’s jealous at all, but I could see certain places running with that story if she said anything that seemed even lukewarm.) Good for Kelly for living her life and not hanging everything on the sequel. That said, I’d also understand if she were a little disappointed that she wasn’t asked to participate, and so given the option of saying no, thank you. June 26, 2020 is also the day that In the Heights is going to be released; I’d rather give Lin-Manuel Miranda and company my hard-earned $11.50.

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60 Responses to “Kelly McGillis wasn’t asked to be in Top Gun remake, is happy for Jennifer Connelly”

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  1. BaronSamedi says:

    One more reason not to go see this movie for me. Nr. 1 is Cruise is a Scientologist ( I have been boycotting his movies for years), nr. 2 is Miles Teller (I can’t stand him and would at least have pirated the movie if he wasn’t cast) and now they are giving me a wonderful third reason by being ageist assholes.

    You KNOW she would have done a cameo and they only didn’t ask her because she dared to age gracefully. Cruise just couldn’t see himself acting with a woman who looks her age and does it well without any help.

    • Jerusha says:

      Never saw Top Gun. Won’t see this, but she was great in Witness.

    • SKF says:


      She has aged gracefully, whereas Tom does his regular trips to his Brazilian plastic surgeon. There is NO way that he would allow himself to be shown opposite Kelly as she is now. Jennifer is almost a decade younger [insert eye roll here] and looks even younger than that (botox, amazing genes, possibly some good work).

      I am so sick of this ageist crap against women. It is exhausting. Men become “silver foxes”, women become “old crones” or botoxed freaks to avoid ageing noticeably. I have decided that I don’t want to see films with men significantly older than their female onscreen partners anymore. I started noticing that all the ageing comedy guys in their late 40s and 50s were being cast opposite actresses in their early 30s and it annoys they bejeezus out of me.

      Give me Helen Mirren and ladies who have aged gracefully any day of the week! Sexy, beautiful, lined, grey, owning their age and their years with dignity and grace.

      Also, I am sick of sequels of great movies only showing the men and acting as if the female stars of those films weren’t significant to their appeal and success. We are not interchangeable! Female characters matter too!

      Big NO from me.

      • adastraperaspera says:

        I’m with you.

      • Redgrl says:

        @skf – THIS. And thank you for writing so well what I was feeling and couldn’t quite put into words!

      • Still_Sarah says:

        I may go and see it but you are 100% right about old farts in the movies always having younger women. And to top it off, whereas Kelly McGillis’ character was a scientist and an expert on jet fighters, Jennifer Connelly’s character is supposedly a hanger-on of the fighter pilot community who runs the local bar.

    • Himmiefan says:

      Oh yeah, she was deemed too old.

    • carol says:

      Even though I hated Top Gun, it would have been nice to see Tom Cruise’s character still be with the Kelly McGillis character in the sequel. Can you believe what a novel idea that would be? A man aging with his love without dumping her for a younger person (although I am happy the younger person is 48 and not 28)? Whatever. I’m not going to see this stupid movie anyway.

      • Jackrabbit says:

        Would they have stayed together? I saw this as less of a relationship and more of a fling. Sure, Charlie had some fun, but would she have found Maverick intellectually stimulating long term?

    • Claire says:

      Those pictures of Kelly were taken 9 years ago. Probably her most recent “official” pics but she looks nothing like that today. The Daily Mail ran paparazzi shots this week.

      This isn’t about age. It’s about Kelly not giving a f–k. She could be pretty if she tried, but she stopped caring a LONG time ago, assuming she ever did in the first place. Did you know “The Accused” only got greenlit because of her name? She was a huge star after Top Gun and Jodie Foster hadn’t lately been in any big films. Kelly turned down the more glamorous part of the rape victim to play the lawyer—she was raped IRL in 1982 and said it would be too painful for her to play.

  2. Carol says:

    I hate watching a movie when a love story is a big part of it and then the sequel only cares about the guy and sets up a whole new love interest for him. The women are treated as interchangeable. Always annoys me!

  3. Mia4s says:

    Kelly is 62, Tom is 57, Jennifer is 48. Yeah…

    Hey I think it’s a miracle they got Crazy Cruise down to only being 9 years older than his love interest. Bit of a miracle honestly. 🙄

    This sequel made me role my eyes so hard I think I sprained something.

    • Jerusha says:

      Fun fact: Mimi Rogers was born in 1956, Nicole K. in 1967, Katie H. in 1978. Which, apparently, means that Tom’s next wife was born in 1989. Wonder who the lucky gal is.

    • Turtledove says:

      “Hey I think it’s a miracle they got Crazy Cruise down to only being 9 years older than his love interest. Bit of a miracle honestly.”

      I would be more impressed if Jennifer Connelly didn’t LOOK like she was far more than 9 years his junior. On paper, yes, it is “only” 9 years. But JC has barely aged. It’s like they found the least aged actress, as close to his age as possible.

      But hey, at least JC is in her 40s, none of us would have been surprised if they cast a 24 year old.

  4. MattyLove says:

    I can’t help but think she wasn’t asked due to her age. Which is terrible.

    • smcollins says:

      She also came out some years ago so I can’t help but think that that, along with her age, is another reason for her exclusion. I’m only speculating of course, but I could totally see TC not wanting her character to make any kind of return since her portrayer is no longer the hot, young, *straight* bombshell she once was.

  5. Cherry says:

    Everytime I read about Kelly I’m reminded of this terrible thing that happened to her- she was attacked in her home and raped by burglars many years ago. That must have had a huge effect on her and her decision to just concentrate on being ‘the best sober parent’.

    • FHMom says:

      I remember that, too. Really horrific.

    • launicaangelina says:

      I thought I remembered there was a tragic event in her life and was going to google. I want to say that I remember some other stories about treatment of her in Hollywood too that added to her leaving.

    • SKF says:

      That is absolutely horrifying. Good for her for being a survivor and finding her strength and working out what matters to her most and prioritising it.

    • TQB says:

      That’s awful. I’ve always admired her so much. Thank goodness she has made herself her top priority.

  6. Billbop says:

    I am sure she wasn’t asked because of how she has aged. Tom Cruise looks pretty much the same, just an older version of himself. Thanks to Scientology’s deal with the Devil.

    Kelly looks like an entirely different person. I wouldn’t even know it was her if someone didn’t tell me. They recently had a photo of her coming out of church and she looked like an adorable and happy grandma.

    I thought she was so beautiful in Top Gun, I remember growing my hair like her!

    No judgement, I look my age too, but I can’t even see how she could make a cameo unless she played Tom’s mom.

    I would rather be Kelly than Cruise. I loved him when I was young, before I knew he was an evil robot. He just doesn’t seem happy. She is now living her life with people who love her, unlike Cruise who surrounded by people who just love his money.

    • SKF says:

      With respect, I disagree. I think she is very recognisable. The woman has great bone structure! I think you/we are just so accustomed to seeing women with a LOT of work done and so a woman who ages naturally and gracefully doesn’t always compute in the same way. I think she is still beautiful and I much prefer this to the puffy, shiny, pulled, joker lips, apple cheeked botox/fillers/plastic surgery look.

      • LindaM says:

        I agree SKF. I think she has aged beautifully and has not messed with her face.

      • Esmom says:

        I agree. And I think she’s the one who looks normal for her age, not Tom. She’s beautiful and she could absolutely have played herself in a cameo, not Tom’s mom. But that would have made tom look kinda ridiculous, hence why it probably didn’t happen.

      • BaronSamedi says:

        Absolutely. She looks fantastic and is absolutely recognizable?! Incredible how Hollywood has apparently warped some people’s views on normal aging.

    • Adrien says:

      She’s beautiful. I thought that was Lena Headey on the top pic.

      • Angela says:

        Thank you! It was bugging me why she seemed so familiar. Definitely Lena Headey similarities.

    • Billbop says:

      The photos in this article are older photos, almost 10 years ago. She looks great in them and she is recognizable. Kelly unfortunately has gained a lot of weight lately and does not look anything like this now. Google new photos of her coming out of church…

      I love that she hasn’t had apparent work done and looks her age, don’t get me wrong. But I can’t see her as a love interest for a Tom Cruise movie. They are all about fantasy and most men don’t fantasize about making out with a woman in her 60’s, no matter how hot she is.

      • SKF says:

        Okay, I looked at the photos at your link and I still think she looks great! She’s a radiant, beautiful woman. I also think she’s recognisable.

        Also – I’d hate to see pap photos of me just wondering around! It takes freakishly good looks and angles (and usually being extremely thin) to look good in photos like that.

        Yes, she has put on some weight and I take your point about fantasy; but my overall point remains that we allow men so much more room to age, put on a few kilos, etc. than we do women and it annoys me to no end.

        Balding men with beer bellies will criticise a woman who looks a thousand times better on her appearance, because she’s not 18-30 and in her prime.

    • Myrtle says:

      I think she has aged beautifully AND I wouldn’t recognize her, if I didn’t know that was the same person. Aging can change a face. No shade. I always loved Kelly. Good for her on getting sober and living her best, authentic life.

      • Bichon Lover says:

        If she had been asked to be in the film, she would have been provided a personal trainer and nutritionist, much like Carrie Fisher for Star Wars. She would have lost the 30 or however many pounds, been extremely toned, had her hair professionally colored, and the best aesthetician that many could buy. She may be 62, but she wouldn’t look a day over 50, had she been invited to participate and the studio had invested in her like they did Cruise. Believe me, without the personal training, plastic surgeon, and fancy hair cuts/pieces, Cruise would look 62.

  7. Sarah says:

    Kelly sounds like a class act and is such a lovely woman…I’m sure putting up with Tom on a set would be exhausting…Glad she doesn’t have to deal with that.

  8. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Of course she wasn’t. Tom Cruise is nearly 60 years old but god forbid his love interest be the same age. At 48, Jennifer Connelly isn’t a young ingenue but she is still a good decade younger than Tom.

  9. FHMom says:

    Am I the only one who thinks she looks fantastic? She handled the whole situation beautifully. Well done, Kelly.

  10. smee says:

    typical Hollywood – men can age and still work, but women can’t 😐

  11. Becks1 says:

    Yeah, they were never going to ask her but they should have.

    I cant decide if I want to see this movie or not. the impression I get from the preview is that I might as well just watch top gun (the original) again.

    I wish it wasn’t coming out the same weekend as In the Heights. I REALLY Want that movie to do well at the box office.

  12. Betsy says:

    Someone please tell me what I have to do to look that beautiful at 62!!!! Oh my god. She’s just – she’s stunning. Is that her real face? Is that surgery? She looks amazing.

  13. A.Key says:

    I don’t think it’s her age. Linda Hamilton is starring in the new Terminator and she’s older than McGillis.

    • DS9 says:

      Linda Hamilton could bench press my ass and I’m not tiny.

      These two women are not the same.

      I’d think it’s more along the lines of Carrie Fisher coming back for Star Wars and whether she was made to or she felt like she should, Carrie lost weight first.

      I 100% believe she wasn’t asked because she’s older, heavier, and a lesbian. She also stepped away from Hollywood and it was likely presumed she wouldn’t be interested in putting her body through all that. And, they would not have wanted her as a love interest for Cruise’s ego

      • A.Key says:

        But then it’s about her looks, not her age. Which I mean, shocking – Hollywood cares about looks! Not.

      • DS9 says:

        The two overlap. I’m not sure how you can separate the two, especially in this case.

        Linda Hamilton is an outlier who doesn’t look or perform as her age usually dictates.

      • Bichon Lover says:

        The studio did everything but sequester Carrie on a deserted island to get her ready for Star Wars (personal trainer, chef, etc…). Mark Hamill admits to receiving this treatment to get him film ready.

    • nuks says:

      Kind of agree — Hollywood is crazy sexist and ageist, but Kelly looked older/bigger/taller than TC in the original. Go back and watch how they staged everything to try to enhance his stature. She sat, leaned, slouched, laid down in almost every scene. Now she looks even larger because she is out of the business and doesn’t maintain a showbiz weight. She’s also not acting on camera and you can’t just pick up from all those years ago. Acting is like singing — you have to keep it up. Anyone remember the less-than steller result from Karen Allen in Indiana Jones 4 (5? Can’t remember)? Nostalgia isn’t enough. I would like to see Kelly work but I have no desire to see her opposite Tom because he’s just not mature enough of an actor. He has to act against weak/ultra passive women or it just looks and comes off like he’s their son.

  14. Trickgirl says:

    This truly brought tears to my eyes. Kelly is absolutely stunning. I knew that they wouldn’t cast her. I made a deal with my sister when they started talking about the remake that I would go see the movie ( I have boycotted TC for 20+ years) with her if Kelly was cast. It’s disgusting how TC gets away his with his Misogynist BS. He is a horrible little man who hasn’t seen his daughter in how many years? Thanks! It could have been a cool true to life love story, but instead it’s like he is trying to “ Set us Back” Whywhywhywhy is he still famous??

  15. marmalazed says:

    Apparently she also gave an interview with Entertainment Tonight where she said she wasn’t cast because, “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.”

  16. sommolierlady says:

    No way would cruise agree to a 62 yr old lesbian as his love interest. Personally, I think she’s gorgeous but he’s still doing those ridiculous shirtless volleyball games. He looks like a creeper.

    No loss. Haven’t gone to a Cruise film in several decades.

  17. bears says:

    She aged like a normal, healthy person so she doesn’t look fuckable enough to bother with. I hate Hollywood.

  18. JanetDR says:

    She is a gorgeous woman and I love the purple jacket in the top photo!

  19. CheckThatPrivilege says:

    I love her and the fact she hasn’t made her appearance the central driving force of her life. She looks great, seems really kind and real, and is too damn good for a Top Gun sequel.

  20. Bunny says:

    Scientologists are notoriously homophobic.

    We won’t be seeing this, period.

  21. Bunny says:

    Scientologists are notoriously homophobic.

    We won’t be seeing this, period.

  22. Borgqueen says:

    this is why I CANNOT WAIT to see the newest Terminator…because they have an older woman who aged naturally and didnt have major surgery. The reason they dont cast older women is supposedly there is no box office draw. We have to put our money where our mouth is.