As Top Gun: Maverick gets ready to barrel roll into theaters after several pandemic-related delays, fans of the original film are sure to notice the absence of Kelly McGillis. The actress played Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood, Maverick’s flight instructor and love interest, but she’ll be notably missing from the high-flying sequel that puts Tom Cruise back in the cockpit after 30 years.
However, in an interesting and awkward wrinkle, McGillis isn’t the only actress from the original film who wasn’t asked to return. While the sequel centers on Maverick’s relationship with the son of Goose, his flight partner who died in the first film, Meg Ryan was not brought back to reprise her role as Goose’s wife. Via Insider:
The director explained that there were enough touchstones from the first movie with the return of Val Kilmer as “Iceman” Kazansky, and a major storyline being Maverick training Goose’s son, “Rooster” Bradshaw (Miles Teller).
“I didn’t want every storyline to always be looking backwards,” Kosinski said. “It was important to introduce some new characters.”
For her part, McGillis has no interest in returning to the world of Top Gun. In 2019, the actress bluntly told Entertainment Tonight that she wasn’t involved with sequel, which frankly, is for the best.
“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,” McGillis said. “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.”