The iconic flight instructor is back in a new movie about vampires and zombies
Kelly McGillis first made her presence known to a national movie audience when she co-starred with Harrison Ford in the classic Amish thriller Witness. After that she played with the fly boys in Top Gun and acted opposite Jodie Foster in The Accused.
After a long break from the movies, Kelly McGillis is back in the apocalyptic vampire adventure Stake Land. She plays a nun whose flock has turned into rabid monsters and she goes on the run with Connor Paolo and scream queen Danielle Harris.
We recently spoke with Kelly about her new film, her new marriage, and her former life in Key West.
How long has it been since you were in a major motion picture?
Kelly McGillis: I don't know. I have no clue.
I'm a big fan of yours. Are you a horror fan or is this out of the box for you?
Kelly McGillis: Totally out of the box. I've never even seen a horror movie quite honestly. I don't really like scary movies. But it was really fun to do!
Where did you guys film this?
Kelly McGillis: In Pennsylvania and up in the mountains in New York.
Where do you live most of the time?
Kelly McGillis: I live in Collinswood, New Jersey. And I did live for a time in northern Pennsylvania.
Excellent. Sort of Witness territory.
Kelly McGillis: Kind of - yes. It was really near where we shot this movie so I got to go visit all my friends.
You just got married, right?
Kelly McGillis: Yes, I did.
Congratulations. I think I read an article on it in the New York Times. How is it going for you?
Kelly McGillis: It's going OK. (Laughs)
Just OK? The honeymoon is over?
Kelly McGillis: Oh hell. Yeah.
You lived in Key West for a long time and owned a bar down there - is that correct?
Kelly McGillis: I owned a bar and a restaurant. A couple of them actually. And I lived there for five years.
Do you still own these places?
Kelly McGillis: No, I don't. It still has my name on them because I didn't copyright it - so you have to do that.
What was the name?
Kelly McGillis: Kelly's.
Oh! Fabulous. I guess I'll boycott them next time I'm down there.
Kelly McGillis: Well, my ex-husband owns them and he's a nice guy.
You're working on another film called The Innkeepers? Can you tell me about that?
Kelly McGillis: It's about an old inn that people think is haunted. I play an aging actress.
Ooh. Very Norma Desmond.
Kelly McGillis: What I like about that movie is that whatever your reality is for you, you create. Whatever we believe is real. It doesn't matter if it's real, if you believe it it's real.
You trained at Juilliard and have appeared on Broadway. Any plans to return to the stage?
Kelly McGillis: Right now I'm really busy doing something else which I really love. I don't know what I'll do. If the job is right I'll definitely be up for it.
What is it that you do now that you really love?
Kelly McGillis: I'm working at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility.
How fascinating. As a counselor?
Kelly McGillis: I'm what is called a recovery coach. So I'm not a counselor, but I have been thinking about getting a degree. But, I don't know if I really want to work that hard. I'm very intense with what I'm doing right now.
How did you get involved with that?
Kelly McGillis:(Laughs) I applied for the job. I really feel passionate about it.
So getting back to Stake Land, was this your first time playing a nun?
Kelly McGillis: I guess not actually. I played a nun in "Measure for Measure" in Washington D.C.
Fewer zombies and vampires in that one. You didn't have an easy shoot - no cozy interiors for you. How long were you on the set for?
Kelly McGillis: I don't know! I don't count! I don't pay attention to that sh*t. I had a blast. I really enjoyed working with everyone.
That's sort of the fun of indie shoots - there's a spirit of "all for one and one for all."
Kelly McGillis: Yes, I really liked that.
Do you have any other projects in the pipeline for us to look forward to?
Kelly McGillis: No, not right now. I'm just pretty happy with my life.
I'm a big fan. Thanks for talking to us!
Kelly McGillis: That's sweet of you. Thank you very much.
Stake Land was released April 22nd, 2011 and stars Danielle Harris, Kelly McGillis, Connor Paolo, Michael Cerveris, Bonnie Dennison, Nick Damici, Sean Nelson, Chance Kelly. The film is directed by Jim Mickle.