Why you don’t hear from Kelly McGillis anymore

The legendary Top Gun movie propelled Tom Cruise to stardom, but Kelly McGillis, who played his love interest, chose a unique path that diverged from Hollywood’s expectations.

Today, the 65-year-old actress looks different, having faced age shaming in recent years.

Watching Top Gun: Maverick, the sequel to the ’80s classic, many hoped to see McGillis, but she wasn’t part of the cast. Entertainment Tonight in 2019 asked if she was offered a role, to which she responded, “Oh my god no. They did not, nor do I think they would ever.”

McGillis, at 65, embraces her age and body, stating, “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.”

In the ’80s, McGillis, known for her roles in Witness and The Accused, became a symbol of beauty and brains in Top Gun, portraying astrophysicist and instructor Charlie Blackwood.

Her character, based on Christine Fox, a renowned flight instructor and mathematician, was pivotal. McGillis, with limited acting experience, found the sudden fame intimidating and later turned her back on Hollywood, focusing on family.

After The Accused, she married Fred Tillman, left Hollywood, had children, and opened a restaurant in Key West. In 2002, she divorced Tillman, and in 2010, she came out as a lesbian, marrying bartender Melanie Leis. The couple parted ways in 2011.

Today, McGillis lives a quiet life in North Carolina, away from Hollywood. Although she stepped back from acting, her legacy as the iconic Charlie in Top Gun endures.