His hot shot jet pilot character may have soared thousands of feet in the air on-screen, 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 3-D 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 3-D/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.