What the Hell Happened to Kelly McGillis?
Later that year, McGillis appeared in the gothic horror movie, We Are What We Are. The new movie was cowritten and directed by Jim Mickle who had previously worked with McGillis on Stake Land. We Are What We Are was about a family of cannibals. McGillis played their nosey neighbor and served as the movie’s comic relief.
Like Stake Land, We Are What We Are was well-liked by critics. It premiered at Sundance and had a limited release in 17 theaters.
McGillis played Amish again in the 2014 TV movie, Love Finds You in Sugarcreek, Ohio. The movie was adapted from the novel of the same name and debuted on the Up Network.
Later that year, McGillis returned to horror on the SyFy series, Z Nation. McGillis played the leader of an all-female commune that the lead characters ask for help when one of them is injured.
In 2016, McGillis was injured during a home invasion. She interrupted a burglary in her home in North Carolina. The 38-year-old woman brought her young daughter as an accomplice. When McGillis noticed their sandals by the door, she called out. She was expecting one of her daughters to answer but was instead assaulted by a stranger. McGillis asked her assailant why she had broken in to her home. The woman claimed that McGillis had been stalking her on Twitter.
Since McGillis keeps guns in her home, she worried that the burglar may have found one. So she fled her home in search of help. The woman pursued her and punched her as she fled. A motorist saw what was going on and pulled over to call 911. The burglar was arrested and McGillis recovered from the assault. Of the incident, she wrote “Who I feel heartache for is the little girl who was with her. Mental illness takes many hostages. I don’t know her name… but I would like to asked (sic) that you pray for her and her mother.”
So, what the hell happened?
McGillis became famous practically overnight. Top Gun was only her third theatrical film. That level of fame is tough for anyone to deal with, but McGillis was completely unprepared. She was dealing with some crippling personal issues as a closeted gay woman and a rape survivor. Unfortunately, she dealt with those problems by self-medicating with drugs and alcohol which only made things worse.
Eventually, something had to give. Unhappy with her career, McGillis walked away from Hollywood. She never fully stopped acting, but she avoided the harsh spotlight of a mainstream movie career. Today, she continues to work on television, stage and screen.