Top Gun 1986 cast: who starred in original film, where are they now – and who will return for Maverick? 


The highly anticipated Top Gun sequel, Top Gun: Maverick is now out in UK cinemas, 36 years after the original was released in 1986.

The sequel follows the story of Tom Cruise’s Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell, nearly three decades after we last saw him and features a few familiar faces from the cast of the original.

Top Gun became a cult classic thanks to its 80s influence and made Tom Cruise an international celebrity overnight.

Directed by Tony Scott, it won the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Original Song, Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins.

It inspired a generation to go into the armed forces in America, with the US Navy stating admissions increasing 500%.

Here’s everything you need to know about who starred in Top Gun and where they are now.

What is the plot of Top Gun?

Top Gun is the name of the US Navy pilot school, where the best of the best train to improve their flying skills.

Tom Cruise as Pete Maverick Mitchell in Top Gun 1986 (Pic: Corbis/Getty)

We follow student Peter ‘Maverick, played by Tom Cruise as he makes friends with Goose, played by Anthony Edwards and clashes with rival pilot Iceman, played by Val Kilmer.

Maverick’s cocky attitude keeps getting him into trouble, but he isn’t just trying to be the best pilot, he’s also competing for the heart of his flight instructor, Charlie, played by Kelly McGillis.

Who was in the cast of Top Gun and where are they now?

Top Gun helped kickstart Cruise’s career, with the actor becoming famous overnight due to his lead role as navy aviator, Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

The cast includes big names such as Val Kilmer, who plays Maverick’s rival, Kelly McGillis who stars as Maverick’s love interest and Meg Ryan as Goose’s wife.

Here are some of the popular characters from Top Gun 1986 Cast and where they are now:

Tom Cruise: Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell

After his role in Top Gun, Cruise went on to find international success in movies such as Mission Impossible (1996-present), Jerry Maguire (1996), Minority Report (2002) and Jack Reacher (2012-2016).

The 59-year-old actor has starred in 39 movies and is reported to have a net worth of $600 million, according to Celebrity Networth.

Val Kilmer: Tom ‘Iceman’ Kazansky

Val Kilmer was 25-years-old when he acted in Top Gun (Pic: Getty Images/National World/Kim Mogg)

Kilmer was originally a stage actor, but found fame after his role as ‘Iceman’ in Top Gun.

He has since gone on to give iconic performances as Jim Morrison in The Doors (1991), an apparition of Elvis Presley in True Romance (1993) and Doc Holliday in Tombstone (1993).

It has been reported that Kilmer is difficult to work with.

Director of The Island of Dr. Moreau John Frankenheimer reportedly said: “There are two things I will never ever do in my whole life: I will never climb Mt. Everest and I will never work with Val Kilmer ever again.”

In December 2017 Kilmer announced that he had been battling throat cancer for two years and had undergone two tracheostomies.

His voice has since been able to be re-created thanks to AI technology.

Kelly McGillis: Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Blackwood

Kelly McGillis was 27-years-old when she starred in Top Gun (Pic: Getty Images/National World/Kim Mogg)

McGillis played Cruise’s love interest Charlie.

After her role in Top Gun McGillis appeared in some films including The Accused alongside Jodie Foster, however the actress stayed out of the limelight.

McGillis opened up in an interview with People that she was raped at knifepoint whilst living in New York in 1982.

She dropped out of Hollywood in 2002 and worked as a counsellor, but making a comeback in her role as Colonel Davis in The L Word

McGillis officially came out as being gay in an interview with shewired in 2003.

She  currently lives in North Carolina where she works as a drama teacher.

Anthony Edwards: Nick ‘Goose’ Bradshaw

Edwards played the role of Maverick’s best friend Goose in Top Gun.

He has since found success playing the role of Dr. Mark Greene on the first eight seasons of ER.

For this role, Edwards has won a Golden Globe, six Screen Actors Guild Awards, and was nominated for four consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards.

Tom Skerritt: Mike “Viper” Metcalf

Skerrit who played Viper was well known before Top Gun for his roles in M*A*S*H and Alien.

He has since went on to appear in Picket Fences (1992-1996), for which he won an Emmy.

Meg Ryan: Carole Bradshaw

Meg Ryan played the role of Carole Bradshaw in Top Gun (Pic: Getty Images)

Ryan, who played the role of Goose’s wife, has gone on to have a successful acting career.

The actress went on to appear in movies such as Sleepless in Seattle (1993), You’ve Got Mail (1998) and City of Angels (1998).

Ryan made her directorial debut in 2015, directing the film Ithaca.

Who from Top Gun is in Top Gun: Maverick?

Out of the original cast, it will just be Cruise and Kilmer who reprise their roles.

McGillis told Entertainment Weekly in 2019 that she was never approached to join the sequel.

She cited the reason due to her no longer looked like your typical Hollywood leading lady.

The actress said: “I’m old, and I’m fat, and I look age-appropriate for what my age is.”

Cruise’s love interest will instead be played by Jennifer Connelly.


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