Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (August 24, 2007)

According to Variety, actress Kelly McGillis has just joined the cast of Showtime’s The L Word for its upcoming fifth season.

McGillis will play a military attorney working on a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell case. Though Showtime was unable to confirm further details about her character, my guess is that her story line will involve Tasha (Rose Rollins), but she probably won’t be involved with Tasha romantically (at least not if Alice has anything to say about it).

I first noticed McGillis in 1986 when she played Tom Cruise’s beard Charlie, a civilian flight instructor, in Top Gun. And I admit it: There was a poster of her hanging in my bedroom for a good portion of my teen years. (OK, I thought I got that poster for Tom Cruise, but really, in retrospect …)

You might also remember McGillis as Amish mother Rachel Lapp in Witness (1985) opposite Harrison Ford. And in The Accused (1988), she played an attorney representing a rape victim played by Jodie Foster. Jodie, of course, won an Oscar for that performance. Kelly, on the other hand, got herself an enduring rumor that she had a romance with Jodie Foster. I can’t decide which one is a better prize.

In recent years, Kelly’s been off the Hollywood radar, though she’s kept herself busy with several stage productions, including a nationally touring version of The Graduate in which she took on the iconic role of Mrs. Robinson. But the one role that you should all know her for (if you don’t already) is that of poetry professor Diana Maitland in The Monkey’s Mask (2000).

Although the Australian movie is based on Dorothy Porter’s critically acclaimed novel in verse, the film version didn’t do so well. That could have been because of the gaping plot holes, or it could have been because of the tawdry lesbian sex. Yes, Kelly takes it all off in The Monkey’s Mask, in which her character has a passionate liaison with a lesbian private eye.

Depending on which reviewer you believe, the sex in the film was either convincingly distracting from the poorly conceived plot or entirely unbelievable. I guess I’ll you’ll just have to watch it and find out for yourself.

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