Jennifer Connelly Recalls The Sweet Moment She Knew Top Gun: Maverick Was Going To Resonate With Audiences

Top Gun: Maverick was one of the most successful movies of 2022 that couldn’t and wouldn’t stop making money at the box office. But other than the impressive box office records it was dominating left and right, this beloved sequel really touched the hearts of fans who first saw Maverick fly in his cockpit back in 1986. Jennifer Connelly, who played Maverick’s love interest, remembers that sweet moment she knew Top Gun: Maverick would have a glowing effect on audiences.

It can be an amazing feeling to discover one of your newest projects takes the box office by storm as well as the 2023 Academy Awards, garnering six nominations including Best Picture. While promoting her next big screen role Bad Behaviour, Jennifer Connelly spoke to Indiewire on whether or not she saw the success of Top Gun: Maverick coming.

No! I had no idea how it would be received. I mean, I was really excited to work on it. I was really excited to make it. I had a great time making it. I saw it in the IMAX theater for the first time, but without an audience, only with my family, believe it or not, because it was during COVID and Tom Cruise wanted to set up a screening, and I think he set up screenings for cast members. He really wanted us to be able to see it projected on a big screen. I guess the first time I got a sense of how it might play to an audience [was when] I was watching my kids’ reaction to it. My daughter was literally sitting at the edge of her seat and her leg was bouncing up and down the whole time she was watching it.

Having the privilege to be able to see Top Gun: Maverick on the IMAX big screen really was an opportunity you needed to grab. Critics noted in their reviews that one of the best parts of seeing this action drama was feeling like you were in the cockpit with the characters. As the IMAX screen allows you to see and hear all more than you ever could in your own living room, audiences will feel like they’re stepping into an adventure up in the sky. And if Connelly’s kids had their own heart-racing reactions to seeing their mother’s movie, you know other people’s children will feel the same way.

Another aspect that makes working on a movie very enjoyable is the people you work with. The Labyrinth actress continued to talk about what it was like working with the long-awaited sequel’s director Joseph Kosinski and, of course, Tom Cruise.

I think Joe Kosinski is a great director. I’ve had the good fortune of working with him twice now. He’s a great director and such a joy to work with. And of course, Tom is… There’s no one like him. He’s extraordinary. That was really a testament to him. It’s a huge achievement for him and Joe and Jerry Bruckheimer. I think that they made a great film, I really do.

Jennifer Connelly and Tom Cruise really did have great chemistry in Top Gun: Maverick. All of the tweaking the action filmmaker did for their romance plot was absolutely worth it in showing a romance that started in the ‘80s that went on and off for decades to finally get the heartwarming results by the film’s end. Connelly said the “extraordinary” experience she had working with Cruise was uncovering his liveliness and generosity, taking every opportunity he could grab onto. It’s no wonder she felt this stunt-driven actor deserved an Oscar nomination for his hard work on the film. Even if this box-office star was hugely snubbed from this year’s Oscars, his performance of Maverick truly resonated well with everyone who took delight in his high-grossing film.

After Jennifer Connelly took her kids to see Top Gun: Maverick, it’s a good lesson for celebrities to let their kids be their test audience to see if their new release will hold up. Luckily, this Oscar-nominated sequel experienced the overwhelming success that any film would be fortunate to have. You can watch Jennifer Connelly’s aircraft-action drama Top Gun: Maverick now on your Paramount+ subscription.

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.