Top Gun: Maverick's Jennifer Connelly Reveals What It's Really Like To Work With Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise and Jennifer Connelly in Top Gun: Maverick

Although Tom Cruise’s Pete Mitchell developed a romantic relationship with Kelly McGillis’ Charlie Blackwood during Top Gun, when the events of Top Gun: Maverick roll around, they’re no longer together. Instead, Captain Mitchell will be courting Penny Benjamin, the owner of a bar near the Top Gun flight school, played by Jennifer Connelly.

Because the actress is playing Tom Cruise’s love interest in Top Gun: Maverick, needless to say that the two of them spent a decent chunk of time working together during the course of principal photography, and Jennifer Connelly came away from the project being impressed with Cruise’s work ethic. As Connelly explained:

I've never seen anyone work harder, be more committed to his work… Every moment is an opportunity to do all that he can do to deliver the best thing that he can possibly deliver.

Considering how Tom Cruise hasn’t shined away from doing elaborate and dangerous stunts on screen, not to mention that he’s partnered with Elon Musk and Doug Liman to shoot a movie in space, it’s unsurprising, yet still good to hear Jennifer Connelly reaffirm his commitment to quality work while she spoke with Extra to plug her new TV show Snowpiercer. Co-star Miles Teller voiced similar thoughts a year ago when he said that he’d been struggling to keep up with Cruise’s pace on Top Gun: Maverick.

As such, Jennifer Connelly found herself extra cognizant about remembering what she needed to say during her scenes. In her words:

I've never been more paranoid about knowing my lines. This is a tight ship. He's so prepared. All the time.

This is just the latest example of Tom Cruise going the extra mile during the making of Top Gun: Maverick. Others include joining his castmates for difficult flight tests (which he also paid for) so they’d be properly prepared for the gravitational forces when they’d be flying combat jets, as well as requesting that practical effects be used rather than primarily rely on CGI. In other words, he was no slacker.

Along with Tom Cruise and Jennifer Connelly, Top Gun: Maverick’s cast includes Val Kilmer (who of course is reprising Tom “Iceman” Kazansky), Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, Ed Harris, Monica Barbaro, Charles Parnell, Danny Ramirez and Manny Jacinto. Tron: Legacy’s Joseph Kosinski directed the feature, and Cruise’s Mission: Impossible collaborator Christopher McQuarrie wrote the script with Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren Singer.

While Top Gun: Maverick was previously set to come out later this month, it’s now flying into theaters on December 23, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more coverage on the flick. Don’t forget to also look through our 2020 release schedule to learn what other movies are supposed to arrive later in the year.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.