Tom Cruise is undoubtedly one of the most charismatic and talented actors in Hollywood. In addition to an Honorary Palme d’Or, three Golden Globe Awards, and four Academy Award nominations, he has won millions of hearts worldwide.

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise in a still from Jack Reacher | Source: Paramount Pictures

One of Cruise’s most popular movies is Top Gun, released in 1986. The movie gave the leverage the actor needed to have his breakthrough in the industry. Actress Kelly McGillis played his love interest in the film, and the audience could not take their eyes off the charming couple. However, this might not have been possible if the difference in their heights was apparent. So, they had to make the Risky Business actor wear lifts in his shoes.

Tom Cruise Had to Wear Lifts to Cover Up the Difference Between His and Kelly McGillis’ Heights

Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in Top Gun
Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in Top Gun

Over the years, numerous directors and co-stars have praised Tom Cruise for his strong work ethic. Whether performing his stunts or doing multiple shots of the same scene, he has been as dedicated to his work as he probably was on the first day. This translates well into the pieces of work he graces the big screens with.

Cruise caught the attention of the big names in Hollywood with the role of Lieutenant Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell in the action drama Top Gun. Although the movie received mixed reviews from critics, it grossed $357 million against a production budget of $15 million (via The Numbers), making it a box-office success and landing the Jerry Maguire star among the A-listers.

While the action scenes, visual effects, and soundtrack were enough to keep the audience hooked, Pete’s chemistry with Kelly McGillis’ Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Blackwood also drew a lot of attention. However, according to Screen Rant to make the couple look perfect on the screen, Cruise had to wear lifts in his shoes to mitigate the height difference between him (5’7″) and McGillis (5’10”).

That was not the only characteristic that set them apart as the actress was five years older than Cruise, but this was not an issue at all because McGillis was captivating and they looked great together. Having a height difference might have been a problem back then so it was thought best to sort it out.

Why Didn’t Kelly McGillis Return for Her Role in Top Gun Sequel?

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick | Source: Paramount Pictures

Over three decades later, Cruise reprised his role as Lieutenant Pete in the sequel Top Gun: Maverick, which was also a blockbuster success. However, fans of the film series must have noticed that McGillis’ Charlie Blackwood was glaringly absent in the film. Instead, Pete’s love interest was Penelope ‘Penny’ Benjamin, portrayed by Jennifer Connelly.

In an interview with ET in 2019, the Made in Heaven actress revealed that she was not asked to reprise her role as Charlie. When asked if she would be attending any of the promotional events for the sequels, she said that it would depend on where she was and what was going on in her life. She also stated that she was not in touch with anybody.

Top Gun is available for streaming on Paramount+.

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