Does Kelly McGillis Still Keep In Touch With Tom Cruise After Playing His Love Interest In Top Gun?


Fans were persuaded that Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise were a real-life couple at one point because of their intense on-screen chemistry in Top Gun. Although Kelly McGillis has an impressive acting resume that includes work in cinema, television, and Broadway, for the majority of fans, her signature role is still Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood, Tom Cruise’s love interest in the 1986 action thriller Top Gun.

The chemistry between Charlie and Maverick was so strong that many people believed the two had once been a real-life couple. Years after the success of her performance in Hollywood, McGillis chose to live a more relaxed life in North Carolina and avoid the spotlight. But the mystery of whether she still communicates with Tom Cruise, her Top Gun love interest, lingers.

How Did Kelly McGillis Feel About Playing Tom Cruise’s Love Interest In Top Gun?

It’s been nearly three decades since Kelly McGillis shared the screen with Tom Cruise in the 1986 blockbuster, Top Gun, but the buzz around the role refuses to die down. While many consider the role her defining moment, the truth is, McGillis wasn’t exactly thrilled about taking it on.

“I didn’t want to do it – there. But because I’d done Witness, I owed Paramount another film, and my agent said, ‘You have to do this.’ I took one look at it and said, ‘This is like a western in the sky – I don’t wanna do this,’” she admitted to The Guardian in a 2001 interview.

“Being a cartoon character was more important than performing. You get what I’m saying? I could have done it with my eyes closed,” she added. “I was appreciative because it provided me with possibilities I wouldn’t have otherwise had. But I went to work, did my part, played baseball, hung out with some boys, and then I went home. It reminded me of being at camp. I’ll never understand why they chose me.

However, McGillis’ sentiments about the role do not extend to her co-star Tom Cruise, to whom she gave a rather glowing review in her 2013 interview with Yahoo Entertainment. “I think Tom is terrific,” she said. “He’s the sweetest guy. He is very genuine and sincere and respectful. And I just loved working with Tom. I think he is wonderful.”

McGillis acknowledged that she and the Mission: Impossible star didn’t interact much off-screen despite her high evaluation. “I’d hang out more with the other guys than I did with Tom and Val [Kilmer],” she remarked. But Val is someone I know from Juilliard. He was a year older than I was. He would stay out with us, and occasionally Tom would stop by, but most of the time it was just the boys and I.”

Did Kelly McGillis Keep In Touch With Tom Cruise After Playing His Love Interest In Top Gun?
Despite her reservations about the role, Kelly McGillis delivered a spectacular portrayal of Charlie in Top Gun. In fact, her performance was so convincing that fans couldn’t get over the idea that she and Tom Cruise weren’t a real-life couple.

“They come in asking, ‘Where’s Tom?’ And I say, ‘I don’t know. I guess he’s somewhere else.’ And they say, ‘Well, aren’t you married?’ I mean, these are adults, for Christ’s sake,” McGillis shared with Guardian in 2001. “I have to say to them, ‘That was a movie – it was fake.'”


With such titillating chemistry, fans must wonder, did Cruise and McGillis keep in touch after their time on Top Gun lapsed? Well, it appears that the co-stars’ off-screen bond might not have been quite as potent as fans believed.
“Movies are odd things. I don’t really keep in touch with anybody [from Top Gun],” McGillis admitted to Entertainment Tonight in a 2019 interview. “I think I’ve spoken to a couple of people occasionally, but the truth is, movies are very odd work situations because you have a lot of people who come together from all different parts of the world.”

Why Didn’t Kelly McGillis Reprise Her Role In Top Gun: Maverick?

Top Gun: Maverick, the 1986 blockbuster sequel, debuted on screens decades after Top Gun’s dazzling run in theaters. The movie, which included dependable favorites Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, debuted to resounding acclaim and made a staggering $1.496 billion at the box office.

The female leads from the prequel, Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan, were conspicuously missing from the cast list. The two were apparently not even asked to reprise their roles. In an interview with Insider, director Joseph Kosinski commented on the omission, saying, “Those weren’t stories we were throwing around.” “I didn’t want every plot to continually be moving in the past. The introduction of some fresh personalities was crucial.

However, when speaking to Entertainment Tonight in 2019, McGillis had a differing view on why she wasn’t asked to return. “Oh my god no. They did not, nor do I think they would ever. I mean, 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,” she responded when asked whether she’d been asked to reprise her role, adding, “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.”
Despite being left out of the sequel to the film that made her famous, McGillis is still intent on reviving her career in Hollywood. “I do not get offered a lot of stuff because I kind of dropped out of the acting world for so long raising my kids — that right now it’s like starting over,” she shared with Yahoo Entertainment. “And I do want to get older and I do want to be a character actress. You know my goal is to be like Jessica Tandy — to be an older woman and really just secure in myself and I don’t want to have to try to be 30 for the rest of my life.”