Last week we told you about Paramount's plan to make a sequel to the '80s aerial actioner 'Top Gun', a full twenty five years after the original (how old does that make you feel, eh?). That got us thinking about the original fighter pilot classic and how well the cast fared post-1986.
Now we all know what happened to Tom Cruise - he turned into the world's biggest movie star, had an embarrassing incident on a chat show sofa but still continued to make millions of dollars at the box office (see ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol). But what about his supporting cast?
Val Kilmer - The Iceman did not quite cometh. Maverick’s nemesis in ‘Top Gun’ was a big Hollywood star for a while thanks to a spot-on turn as Jim Morrison in ‘The Doors’ and great supporting work in ‘Heat’. But his Bruce Wayne in ‘Batman Forever’ was rubbish and his career’s been in slow decline ever since. These days, a significantly more widescreen Kilmer can been seen in the likes of ‘Twixt’ and ‘Seven Below’.
Kelly McGillis – After her critically acclaimed breakout role alongside Harrison Ford in Peter Weir's film 'Witness', Kelly pitched up as the blonde bombshell love interest of Tom Cruise's character, Maverick. Then, she played the District Attorney in 1988's 'The Accused'. Things were really kicking off for Kelly who was becoming a star. Then she acted opposite Robocop (Peter Weller) in controversial director Abel Ferrera's Elmore Leonard adaptation, 'Cat Chaser'.
She hated the filming experience and vowed never to act again. That's what she said, anyway. She's taken the odd part here and there over the years, with perhaps the best being in 2010's excellent vampire B-Movie, 'Stake Land'. Look out for her in Ti West's ridiculously scary-looking horror due out later this year, 'The Innkeepers'.
Tim Robbins – We almost forgot Robbins played Merlin, but behind Cruise he’s ‘TG’s most successful alumni. After its success, the doughy Robbins went on to star opposite Kevin Costner in 'Bull Durham', where he met his long-term partner, the lovely Susan Sarandon. You might've seen the 53 year-old in 'Jacob's Ladder', 'The Player' or, a lot of people's all-time favourite movie, 'The Shawshank Redemption'. He also won an Oscar for his role in 'Mystic River' (co-starring Sean Penn) and was nominated for a Best Director gong for the brilliant 'Dead Man Walking' (starring Sean Penn). He must love Sean Penn.
– The moustachioed Goose (for anyone that can't quite remember the movie, that was his nickname – waterfowl can't fly F-14s) was a hugely popular character with 'Top Gun' fans. He appeared in a few films afterwards and recently turned up in David Fincher's 'Zodiac'. But it's his role as Dr. Mark Greene (sans moustache and hair) in smash hit TV series 'ER' that he'll be most remembered for. Which is lucky for him, ‘cause he also popped up in Uma Thurman flick ‘Motherhood’, which broke records by making less than ninety quid in its opening weekend at the UK box office. It crashed and burned worse than poor ol' Goose did.
Tom Skeritt – A veteran actor who's appeared in plenty of movies in his time (including 'Alien'), Skeritt didn't stop at 'Top Gun'. 'Steel Magnolias', 'A River Runs Through It' and 'Contact' are just a few of his credits. He also played Sheriff Jimmy Brock in the forgotten, but very good, 90's CBS series, 'Picket Fences'.
Michael Ironside – Before and after his performance as Jester, Ironside (the actor, not the wheelchair-bound detective) made sci-fi his thing. Pre-TG, he was in one of David Cronenberg's first films, 'Scanners' and the epic TV mini-series, 'V'. Post-TG he's picked up pay packets for appearances in 'Starship Troopers' and 'Total Recall' (both directed by Paul Verhoven), 'Highlander II', 'Terminator Salvation' and 'X Men: First Class'.
Whip Hubley – Remember the film 'Russkies'? With a young Joaquin Phoenix? No? Oh. Well, the brilliantly-named Whip Hubley (who played Hollywood in 'Top Gun') was the star. And his sister was married to Kurt Russell for a bit. And... that's about it. Let’s move on.
Adrian Pasdar – Director Tony Scott loved Pasdar's 'Top Gun' audition so much, he wrote the part of Chipper especially for him. A couple of years later he bagged the lead in weird vampire western, 'Near Dark'. It all went a bit quiet after that. The last few years have been kinder to Pasdar though, with TV paying most of his bills. 'Judging Amy', 'Profit' and the huge sci-fi monster 'Heroes' appearing on his CV. Oh, and he married a Dixie Chick.
Clarence Gilyard Jr.
- You may have spotted Sundown in the second 'Karate Kid' movie. Or, if you're a fan of rubbish Texas-based TV shows, starring opposite Chuck Norris in 'Walker, Texas Ranger' for most of the nineties. He's now a theatre professor in Las Vegas where he presumably threatens pupils who hand their homework in late with a visit from Chuck.
Which of the original cast would you like to see make it back into the Danger Zone for 'Top Gun 2'? Do let us know...