Why Kelly McGillis isn’t back in Top Gun: Maverick

The Top Gun 2 director explains why the beautiful Charlie, who made Pete’s head spin in 1986, wasn’t a guest in the sequel.

Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) will make his return. Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer) too. But Top Gun: Maverick will not bring back Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood, the instructor of Top Gun played by Kelly McGillis in the first opus, and who lived a burning passion with the student Tom Cruise.

Kelly McGills was not invited to the party, nor was Meg Ryan, who played Goose’s wife and who would have had her place, since the sequel will introduce her son, played by Miles Teller. But the director of Top Gun 2Joseph Kosinski, assumes in a insider interview :

“They weren’t in the stories we envisioned…I didn’t want the script to constantly look backwards. It was important to introduce new characters.”

Tom Cruise does the show in a helicopter at the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick

Thus, it is Jennifer Connelly which succeeds Kelly McGills in the shoes of Pete’s lover. But she too comes from the first film, in a way, since she plays Penny Benjamin, mentioned in the Top Gun original as being “The Admiral’s Daughter” with whom Maverick had an affair. 30 years later, Penny is a single mother who owns a bar. “Penny Benjamin, a character we’ve heard of but never seen before, it was an amazing opportunity to integrate Jennifer Connelly in this film”.

As for Kelly McGillis, 64 years old today, she has no real regrets. Turning little in recent years – we came across him quickly in the series dirty johnon TF1 – she confided in 2019: “I’m old, I’m fat, I look like my age… And that doesn’t work in this job. But I much prefer to feel good about myself, to be sure of who I am at my age, than to place any value on all these things..”

Top Gun: Maverick will be released in theaters on May 25.

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