Kelly McGillis looks back at director Tony Scott's blockbuster hit, on Blu-ray this Tuesday, August 30th
Top Gun is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this Tuesday, August 30th, with an all-new Blu-ray release. The number one movie of 1986 is set to return fans to the Danger Zone in Hi-Def, and it remains one of the greatest adventures of all time. We caught up with Tom Cruise's leading lady, Kelly McGillis, to reminisce about Top Gun and to celebrate its birthday. Here is our conversation.
Is this fun for you to reminisce about Top Gun? Where do you hold the movie in regards to your career?
Kelly McGillis: (Laughs) I don't think about it much. It was fun. It was great. I had a great time doing it. But I don't dwell too much on what I've done. I have to deal with what I am doing today.
So, you haven't even gone back and seen the movie since 1986?
Kelly McGillis: No. I have not. I have seen glimpses of it when my kids are watching it on television. Maybe, when I am walking through the house doing laundry, I will see some of it. But no, I have never sat down to watch it.
What do your kids think about the movie?
Kelly McGillis: Now that they are grown, they don't sit around and watch my stuff. No. My youngest daughter did have a big crush on Tom Cruise. I told her (laughs) she was one of five billion. Good luck. She was around eight at the time.
So, even with the movie coming to Blu-ray, you won't watch it? Its just one of those things you did, it's gone, all part of the past?
Kelly McGillis: No. I have no desire to sit around and watch myself. I find that kind of weird.
Some people might think its weird. Other people get a kick out of watching themselves. I guess it depends on the person...
Kelly McGillis: I guess. I wouldn't feel very comfortable doing something like that.
We're sort of experiencing a Kelly McGillis resurgence. You are starting to pop up in more and more movies lately. Do you think that's in large part due to the filmmakers of today having been fans of Top Gun when they were younger?
Kelly McGillis: I don't know about that. I think I have been busy, raising my kids. I think it's that I have just been trying to go back to work. Working as an actor.
When Skateland came out, a lot of people were excited to see you in that movie. It's been fun to watch you come back...
Kelly McGillis: Oh, I don't know. That is very nice. I don't know what people think, honestly. I just don't know.
Do you have any fond memories you can share about being on the set of Top Gun?
Kelly McGillis: Oh, it was just fun. It was like being at camp. Everyone was really nice, and we had a great time. All of the boys and I lived together in the same hotel complex. So we hung out together all the time.
I remember when the movie came out, a big deal was made about the elevator sequence, where you are wearing your hat. You had to re-shoot that scene, and there was a problem with your hair. What exactly was going on there?
Kelly McGillis: Yeah, I was working on Made in Heaven at the time. I wouldn't cut my hair. We had to put a baseball cap on my head. The producers weren't happy about it. What could I do? Someone else was paying me at that time.
What are your thoughts on the film's place in pop culture?
Kelly McGillis: I don't know. It just seems to me like it's a good fun movie. Its good guys and bad guys with a lot of sexy planes. Good-looking people. It seems to me that it's a fun film. I think there is a lot of value in escapism. I would think that people would enjoy it.
It's a film that has really held up. In fact, there is talk of a sequel. Has anyone approached you about that? Or is that something you wouldn't even be interested in?
Kelly McGillis: Oh, I think I am far too old to do that now. I don't think I would even be interested, to tell you the truth. Its like, I have already done that, you know?
You have the Innkeepers coming up, and you just did the vampire thriller Stake Land. Are you a fan of the horror genre? Or are these just the movies you seem to be getting offered right now?
Kelly McGillis: These are just little films that came to me. I think The Innkeepers came about because it was the same producers who did Stake Land. I only worked on The Innkeepers for ten days, which I thought was really great. Stake Land? Director Jim Mickle talked to me, and I really liked him. It was shot near where I lived, so that was really easy and great. That is why I did that movie. I also liked the apocalyptic theme of it. And the extremism. I have never seen a horror movie, to tell you the truth. I don't like watching those kinds of movies, because I don't like to get scared. But I loved working with Jim Mickle. The Innkeepers I did because I thought it was a quirky little film. The producers had asked me to do it.
Ti West, the director of that movie, is a big fan of yours. What was it like working with someone who seeks you out in a specific manner like that?
Kelly McGillis: It was very nice. Ti West is a nice guy, and I think he has a lot of talent. It was a lot of fun.
What can you tell me about your character?
Kelly McGillis: I play a has-been actress that turns into a psychic person. That is about it. I don't know what else to tell you about it.
What else are you working on right now?
Kelly McGillis: I just finished a little film called Tio Papi. It is a family values film. It takes place in Washington Heights, in New York. It's about a guy who ends up having his brother's seven or eight kids come into his life. It is just a sweet little movie. I have just a little part.
What does the work you are doing now give you, that you don't feel you were getting back in the 80s or 90s?
Kelly McGillis: I don't know. Part of my desire is to be a character actress. And to be able to be older, and be okay with that. I want to do the small little parts that are more interesting and fun. Rather than have this huge responsibility of carrying the movie. Feeling like I have to be perpetually thirty.
Do you feel that looking at the work in that way opens new avenues for you, that may have not been available to you in the past?
Kelly McGillis: I don't disagree. That interests me more. Doing these fun little character parts. It seems more interesting to me than being a romantic lead. Plus, I don't know...In your fifties, you can't be the romantic lead unless it's an all-older film. Those are few and far between. That is not the mainstream. I would really rather just be a character actress, and play my age, and be comfortable with that.
Do you think you'd ever do a weekly TV series? Or is that too much responsibility to place on your shoulders?
Kelly McGillis: I don't know. I would certainly do something like that it if it came up. I don't have an attitude about one genre being better or worse than the other. Yeah.
Top Gun 25th Anniversary Blu-ray hits stores this Tuesday, August 30th.