The Top Gun sequel is expected in cinemas in 2020, but when the trailer was released this month, one star from the original was noticeably absent.

In the original Top Gun, Kelly McGillis played Charlie Blackwood, an astrophysicist, Top Gun instructor and love interest to Tom Cruise's character Maverick.

But McGillis was nowhere to be seen in the trailer for Top Gun: Maverick - and now, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, the actress has revealed why.

Actress Kelly McGillis. Photo / Getty Images
Actress Kelly McGillis. Photo / Getty Images

"I'm old and I'm fat and I look age-appropriate for what my age is, and that is not what that whole scene is about," McGillis told Entertainment Tonight, revealing she was not asked to return for the sequel.

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"I'd much rather feel absolutely secure in my skin and who and what I am at my age, as opposed to placing a value on all that other stuff."

McGillis has been out of the spotlight for some years, telling ET she left Hollywood as she was "on a journey to figure out who the hell" she was.

Kelly McGillis in Top Gun (1986). Photo / Getty Images
Kelly McGillis in Top Gun (1986). Photo / Getty Images

"It was very challenging for me to have any kind of sense of self or self-identity or real self-worth other than what I did for a living," she said. "And it just - it didn't become a priority; what became the priority initially was raising my girls and being the best sober parent I could be.

"I love acting, I love what I do, I love doing theatre, but I don't know. To me, my relationships to other people became far more important than my relationship to fame."

Top Gun: Maverick arrives in 2020, and stars Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Miles Teller and Val Kilmer.