Kelly McGillis, Tom Cruise, and TOP GUN

In case you were wondering if Top Gun: Maverick features any kind of cameo from Kelly McGillis’s Charlie Blackwood (she was an astrophysicist and Topgun instructor, so it stands to reason she’d still run in the same circles), we’ve got some bad news. In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, McGillis says she was not asked to be a part of the upcoming sequel, and she’s fairly certain she can guess why.

“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,” the Top Gun actress, who played the film’s romantic lead across from Tom Cruise, told ET (You can hear audio of her interview in the video on this page.) “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.” When asked if she’s planning to see the film, McGillis didn’t seem too interested either way. “I’m not racing to the theater, and I’m not racing away from the theater to see it,” she said. “It’s just not on my little list of things that I would like to get done.” And before you ask: no, she hasn’t seen the trailer, either.
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Well, here’s McGillis today at age 62:

She doesn’t look too bad for her age, if you ask me. Although I have seen, and could have posted, less-flattering pictures of her, but none of us look our best all the time. And if she were in the movie she would of course have professional makeup artists making her look as good as possible.

Now here’s Tom Cruise today, at 57:

Tom Cruise presents a clip from “Top Gun: Maverick” on day one of Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 18, 2019, in San Diego. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

While he’s no longer quite the “babyface” that he was for several decades, he’s definitely held up well for his age. And movie magic also helps him look his best onscreen.

On the surface of it this does seem like just the latest in Hollywood’s known-bias against older women, something which I’ve written about here before. 73 year old Sylvester Stallone has his fifth Rambo film coming out later this year, while  77 year old Harrison Ford is gearing up to film a fifth Indiana Jones movie. We rarely get the same with iconic female roles.

Although 62 year old Linda Hamilton is coming back to The Terminator franchise, and 60-year old Jamie Lee Curtis has returned to the Halloween franchise, so it’s not so out of the question either. Looking at it that way, I’m willing to give the Maverick producers some benefit of the doubt, that this isn’t just an age-thing. As McGillis says, she hasn’t held up for her age, and she’s had some problems with alcohol that have affected her. So you can see why she may not have been thought of as an ideal leading lady for a film like this today.

And I also look at this “realistically”, from the standpoint of the characters. What are the odds that Cruise and McGillis’ characters would actually still be together today? Even if they stuck it out after the film and ended up married, just the statistical odds are that they would be divorced by now, and out of each other’s lives completely unless they had children. So would their really be a need for her character to appear in this film?

Then again, Val Kilmer is returining for a cameo, and he’s not looking all that great (due in large part to a bout with throat cancer) lately. So on the other hand maybe it is wrong that they didn’t even ask her back for an appearance? I don’t know, I’m going back and forth on this.

One thing I like is that the woman they have cast as Cruise’s love interest in this film is Jennifer Connelly.

At 48 she’s nine years younger than Cruise. So it is still a “younger woman” but that’s not so bad, especially by Hollywood standards. It’s practically amazing that they didn’t cast some woman in her 30’s, who is young enough to be Cruise’s daughter.

Whatever, I wasn’t a big fan of Top Gun in the first place, so I probably won’t be rushing to see this sequel either.

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