After a self-imposed exile from Hollywood, Kelly McGillis is back on our screens. But she’s not necessarily feeling the “need for speed” As her former co-stars Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer suit up for the sequel to 1986’s Top Gun, Kelly likely won’t be reprising her role as flight instructor Charlie Blackwood, Tom’s on-screen love interest. Instead, she has been sticking to quieter projects like Hallmark movies and horror flicks.
Kelly starred in Hallmark’s An Uncommon Grace last year, for example, playing a grandmother living on a farm in Amish country. (It’s actually her third Amish role, after her breakout performance in the 1985 film Witness and her appearance in the 2014 TV movie Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio.) Other recent gigs of hers include the horror films The Innkeepers and We Are What We Are, the thriller Mother of All Secrets, and episodes of the TV shows The L Word and Z Nation.
Kelly in Top Gun.
Kelly also made headlines in 2009 when she came out as a lesbian. She hadn’t necessarily planned it; an opportunity just presented itself when a reporter asked if she was interested in dating men or women. “It was like a moment of truth… I said, you know, I’m just going to say the truth,” she later told People. “I tried really hard not to be who I am. I tried super hard. It was a difficult journey for me to come to terms and be whole and happy with who I am.”
She entered into a civil union with partner Melanie Leis in 2010, but they split in 2013. And that hasn’t been her only struggle, unfortunately. She says she was gang-raped when she was 12, mugged at gunpoint during the early 1980s, and then sexually assaulted by home invaders a year later. Those traumas led Kelly into drug and alcohol abuse, but she became sober by 2001. Another home invasion in 2016, however, left her grappling with feelings of PTSD and depression.
Kelly in 2013.
Still, we’re happy to report the 60-year-old shows no signs of slowing down. According to Variety, she’ll soon star in the film Annie Cook, a biopic about an infamous Midwest crime queen. And we’re excited to witness as much of Kelly’s talent as we can!