Statuesque Kelly McGillis made herself small around Tom Cruise
BY GENE TRIPLETT
His hot shot jet pilot character may have soared thousands of feet in the air onscreen, but in reality Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun” leading lady towered over him on the ground.
Kelly McGillis — who played “Charlie,” the beautiful civilian flight instructor opposite Cruise’s cocky but talented Navy flyer nicknamed “Maverick” — stood a good three inches taller than her male co-star.
Cruise is reportedly 5 feet, 7 inches tall. McGillis says she stands at 5 feet, 10 inches in her stocking feet. And that’s how she had to play her character in “Top Gun.”
“Well first off, Tom and (director) Tony (Scott) and I really weren’t bothered by the height difference, but apparently Paramount was, so I acted the whole time in my stocking feet,” McGillis said in a phone interview Monday from her home in Edneyville, N.C.
“And when I see the film now I see myself trying to shrink, you know? I see myself as the film goes on trying to reduce myself.”
A remastered IMAX 3D version of the 1986 action-drama opens in theaters nationwide Friday for a six-day engagement, and is set for release as a Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray combo package on Feb. 19.
“It doesn’t seem that long,” said McGillis, 55, who was just shy of 30 when “Top Gun” was originally released.
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