Why you don’t hear from Kelly McGillis anymore

Kelly McGillis, famed for her role in “Top Gun,” didn’t join the sequel “Top Gun: Maverick.” At 65, she faced scrutiny for her age and appearance. She confirmed, “They did not, nor do I think they would ever,” ask her to be part of it. McGillis prioritized self-assurance, stating, “I’d much rather feel absolutely secure in my skin and who and what I am at my age.”

In the ’80s, McGillis commanded million-dollar fees and portrayed astrophysicist Charlie Blackwood in “Top Gun.” The character was inspired by Christine Fox, a notable flight instructor. McGillis, initially slated for another film, embraced “Top Gun” for its script and visual direction by Tony Scott.

After her Hollywood success, McGillis shifted focus to family. She married Fred Tillman, lived in Key West, and ran a restaurant. Personal struggles, including her sexuality, surfaced. She came out as a lesbian in 2009. Her relationship with Melanie Leis was tumultuous, leading to their split in 2011.

Today, McGillis resides in North Carolina, teaching acting privately. She embraces aging gracefully, eschewing Hollywood beauty norms. Despite her absence from recent projects, her legacy endures. Not appearing in “Top Gun: Maverick” didn’t diminish McGillis’s iconic status. Her choice to prioritize self-care and family over industry pressures is commendable.