Kelly McGillis recalls ‘Top Gun’ love scene and ‘a lot of partying’ while filming
Kelly McGillis then and now (Photo: Everette Collection/ Paramount Pictures)
"I was doing another movie and I wouldn't cut my hair," she said of her steamy scene with Tom Cruise in the 1986 film. "So, in the elevator scene, which we shot at that time as well, they put me in a baseball cap. And then [in the love scene] it was all silhouette because I had dark brown hair."
The actress, now 55 years old, spoke to Yahoo! Movies in honor of a Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray 2D two-disc set of the popular '80s film being released on February 19. (Starting February 8, there is also a six-day theatrical run of "Top Gun" in select IMAX® 3D theaters.)
McGillis was as candid as her memory would allow, recalling that "a lot of partying" was happening when the actors were off the clock -- some even getting in trouble in nearby Mexico. (Much of "Top Gun" was filmed in San Diego, California.) She observed how the film's indelible soundtrack -- including the songs "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin and "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins -- has stuck with her through time, especially when she's grocery shopping.
McGillis also took time to remember "Top Gun"'s late director Tony Scott, who died over the summer, as well as discuss her current "quiet" life and career, admitting, "My goal is to be like Jessica Tandy -- to be an older woman and really just secure in myself. I don't want to have to try to be 30 for the rest of my life."
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Meriah Doty: Does “Top Gun” feel like a lifetime ago? How does it feel this many years later? It is arguably the role you're most famous for.
Kelly McGillis: Yeah. It does seem like a long, long time ago and I'm actually astounded at the legs that this movie has had. Yeah. I mean -- I didn’t have any clue when I was making this movie how long it would be around. To tell you the truth, it's amazing.
MD: How did “Top Gun” change your life and your career?
KM: It changed my life a lot. I was recognizable -- because prior to that [was] “Witness” [1985, also starring Harrison Ford] and I don’t run around in a prayer cap and an Amish dress. People couldn't really recognize me as easily. It made me a household name and I think it afforded me to be able to go do a lot of things -- opportunities in the theater that perhaps I wouldn’t have had financially if I hadn’t done it. So, it also gave me a chance to take more risks which I really like doing.