“Top Gun” is an iconic 1986 action film that became a defining piece of pop culture in the 1980s. Starring Tom Cruise as Lieutenant Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, the movie took audiences on a thrilling ride through the world of Naval aviation. Kelly McGillis played a pivotal role in the film as Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood, a civilian flight instructor.
In this article, we will delve into the age of Kelly McGillis during the making of “Top Gun,” her impact on the movie, and her career in Hollywood.
Who is Kelly McGillis?
Kelly McGillis was born on July 9, 1957, in Newport Beach, California. She grew up in a family of professionals, with her father working as a general practitioner, and her mother as a homemaker. McGillis had a passion for acting from a young age, and she pursued her dreams by attending the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City, where she honed her acting skills.
McGillis began her acting career in the early 1980s, gaining recognition for her role in the 1985 film “Witness,” in which she starred alongside Harrison Ford. However, it was her role in “Top Gun” the following year that would truly propel her into the Hollywood spotlight.
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How Old Was Kelly McGillis in “Top Gun”?
In “Top Gun,” Kelly McGillis played the character Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood, a civilian instructor at the elite Top Gun Naval Fighter Weapons School. Her character was a strong, intelligent, and independent woman who was also the love interest of Tom Cruise’s character, Maverick. The film’s storyline revolved around Maverick’s pursuit of excellence in his fighter pilot training and his budding romantic relationship with Charlie.
“Top Gun” began production in 1985 and was released in 1986. Kelly McGillis was born on July 9, 1957. Therefore, during the filming of “Top Gun,” she was 27 years old, turning 28 later that year. Tom Cruise, who played her love interest, was 24 years old at the time. This age difference was relatively common in Hollywood, where older actresses were often paired with younger leading men.
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Why Was Kelly McGillis Not in “Top Gun: Maverick”?
Kelly McGillis was not in “Top Gun: Maverick” because she was not asked to be part of the sequel. In a 2019 interview, she candidly attributed her absence to her age and appearance, stating, “I’m old and I’m fat, and I look age-appropriate for what my age is.” McGillis expressed contentment with her life away from Hollywood, focusing on personal well-being and family.
The role of Maverick’s love interest in the sequel went to Jennifer Connelly. McGillis seemed uninterested in the film and wasn’t rushing to see it. While the absence of a familiar face was noted, “Top Gun: Maverick” continued the legacy of the original while embracing new characters and storylines.