Top Gun: The Stars of Top Gun Now and Then Will Take Your Breath Away

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Charlie Blackwood, an astronomer and Top Gun instructor civilian, took Maverick by surprise. It was a romantic love story for the ages. Or at least the 1980s. McGillis claims she wasn’t asked to be in the sequel. She almost didn’t make the cut for the first film.

“I didn’t want to do it—there,” she recalled to The Guardian in 2001. “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.’ It wasn’t about acting, it was about being a cartoon character. You know what I mean? I could have done it blindfolded. I was grateful for the fact that it gave me opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise have had. But I showed up for work, did my bit, hung out with a bunch of boys, played baseball, and went home. It was like being at camp. Why they hired me I’ll never know.”

McGillis next portrayed a prosecutor seeking justice for a rape victim played by eventual Oscar winner Jodie Foster in The Accused. She kept acting in the likes of The BabeNorth and many smaller films and TV movies, butshe also opened a restaurantIn Florida with her yacht mogul second husband, Fred Tillman, in the 1990s and put acting on the back burner.

She has two daughters with Tillman, whom she divorced in 2002. She came out as gay in 2009 and had a civil union ceremony with Melanie LeisThey split in 2010 but they reformed the next year.

“I think just my priorities in life changed,” McGillis Submitted Entertainment Tonight In 2019, you can still call North Carolina home. “It wasn’t like a major decision that I made to leave [acting], it was just that other things became more important. I love acting, I love what I do, I love doing theater, but I don’t know. To me, my relationships to other people became far more important than my relationship to fame.”

She continued, “I am a home person. I’m really rooted in my home life…I can’t remember the last time I worked. I feel really blessed that I don’t have to work, you know? But I get the option to work, so I’m really blessed in that way. Not many people get that option later in life, so I feel very lucky.”