'Top Gun'' s Kelly McGillis Wasn't Asked to Return for the Sequel: 'My Priorities in Life Changed'

Kelly McGillis is opening up about why she won't be back for Top Gun: Maverick

Don’t look for Kelly McGillis in Top Gun: Maverick.

The actress, 62, originally played Tom Cruise‘s love interest Charlie in the 1986 film, but she was noticeably missing in the trailer for the upcoming sequel which dropped earlier this month.

McGillis opened up about why she won’t be in the film in an interview with Entertainment Tonight in which she said she wasn’t asked to return.

“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 said. “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.”

The actress, who has two grown daughters and lives in North Carolina, revealed she’d distanced herself from Hollywood to focus more on living sober.


“Honestly, I got sober. I was on a journey to figure out who the hell I was and it was very challenging for me to have any kind of sense of self, or self-identity or real self-worth other than what I did for a living,” McGillis said.

She continued, “It just didn’t become a priority. What became the priority initially was raising my girls and being the best sober parent I could be. My priorities in life changed. It wasn’t like a major decision that I made to leave it was just that other things became more important.”

McGillis still loves acting, she stressed. “I love what I do, I love doing theater,” she said. “But my relationships to other people became far more important than my relationship to fame.”

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Cruise, 57, surprised fans at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this month and debuted the first trailer for the highly-anticipated Top Gun: Maverick.

“I’m feeling that loving feeling, I’m definitely feeling that loving feeling from you all,” Cruise told the crowd. “Thirty-four years ago I made a movie here in San Diego. I actually shot across the street at a restaurant.”

He continued, “You’ve all asked for many, many years asking, ‘Why don’t you do another one? When are you going to do another one?’ In 34 years you guys have been very, very patient with me.”

“I felt it was my responsibility to finally really deliver for you. I have a little piece here if you want to see it. This is our very first trailer. You are the first people in the world to see it. And everything you see in this film is for real,” Cruise added. “For me, Top Gun is about competition, it is about family, sacrifice, heroism, aviation. It’s a love letter to aviation.”

Cruise stars in the film alongside Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Val Kilmer, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell and Ed Harris.

Titled Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel takes place decades after the 1986 original film and features Cruise’s return as Maverick with Teller playing Bradley Bradshaw, the son of Anthony Edwards’s pilot Goose.

Top Gun: Maverick is set for a June 26, 2020 release.

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