Kelly McGillis wasn't asked to be in the Top Gun sequel, and the reason says a lot about women in Hollywood
A sequel to the 1986 classic Top Gun has been in the works for a while, and it will finally hit theaters in 2020. But while several original cast members, including Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, have signed on to the project, one familiar face won’t be appearing in the film. Kelly McGillis recently said that she was not asked to take part in Top Gun: Maverick, and she thinks she knows part of the reason why.
In a July 26th interview with Entertainment Tonight, the 62-year-old actress said that she hadn’t been invited to reprise the role of Cruise’s onscreen love interest, Charlie. She told ET that she didn’t expect to be in the new movie, either, partially because of her age.
As USA Today notes, Jennifer Connelly will play a new love interest for Cruise’s character in the sequel. McGillis doesn’t seem to harbor any ill will toward Connelly, though. She told ET she was “so glad that [Connelly] got that opportunity.”
McGillis also told ET that she wasn’t sure if she would attend any promotional events for the new movie. She said that no one has asked her to do so yet, and she added that her attendance would depend on her schedule anyway.
McGillis’s thoughts on Top Gun: Maverick highlight the issue of ageism in Hollywood. Far too many actresses have been told they’re too old to play certain roles, but male actors don’t face this problem at the same scale. A 2019 study from San Diego State University found that in the highest-grossing films of 2018, 45% of male characters were 40 and over while only 31% of female characters fell in the same age group. Clearly, this is still a problem in Hollywood. We’re glad McGillis is comfortable in her own skin, but it’s still frustrating that she wasn’t asked back for the Top Gun sequel.