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Top Gun: Maverick: Tom Cruise helped Jennifer Connelly overcome her fear of flying

‘Top Gun: Maverick’: Tom Cruise helped Jennifer Connelly overcome her fear of flying

Jennifer Connelly reveals how Tom Cruise helped her overcome her "crippling fear of flying" while shooting Top Gun: Maverick.

Everyone knows how obsessed Tom Cruise is with stunts. He performs all of them by himself, and it shows how big of an Adrenaline junkie he is. However, it looks like Cruise also lends a helping hand to other actors to overcome their fears of such stunts. And that includes his Top Gun: Maverick co-star Jennifer Connelly, whom he helped overcome her fear of flying.

How Tom Cruise helped Jennifer Connelly to get over her fear of flying in Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick: Tom Cruise helped Jennifer Connelly overcome her fear of flying
Paramount ©

In a recent The Graham Norton Show episode, Tom Cruise appeared as a guest, while Jennifer Connelly joined him virtually on the show. There, she discussed how while shooting Top Gun: Maverick, Cruise helped her overcome her “crippling fear of flying,” which is ironic since it is literally in a movie about planes. Initially, her character was not going airborne, with all her scenes on the land or on the sea, as Connelly said:

What I was afraid to tell Tom at the time was that I had just recently decided to think myself out of a really crippling fear of flying that I had suffered from for years. And so originally when I signed on to do the movie there was no flying for my character. My character was on land, she was on the water, she was never in the air.

Jennifer Connely

How Cruise managed to trick her into an adventurous flight

However, in one of the scenes in Top Gun: Maverick where the pair had to taxi on a runway, Cruise revealed to her that the two were going to do some aerobatic flying. And the one in the pilot’s seat would be Tom Cruise himself. She continued:

There was a scene at one point where it’s taxing on a runway may be in a plane together. So, Tom and I are shooting that scene, and the plane, the P-51 is tiny. The top of the cockpit is right here and my knees are up against his back. He’s like, ‘Jen have you ever been in a plane like this before?’ I was like, ‘No I haven’t, Tom. It’s amazing’. He’s like, ‘Ever done any aerobatic flying before?’ I started to get nervous. ‘No, why? Will I be doing some?’ He’s like, ‘It’s gonna be very graceful. Very elegant. Very elegant rolls. It’s going to be nice and easy.’ So that’s how I found out I was going to be up in the P-51 with Tom flying it.

Despite the surprise, Connelly reveals that Cruise was quite caring of her and took her to a “nice and easy” flight with “elegant rolls”. In Top Gun: Maverick, Connelly will play the role of a single mother who runs a local bar that new Top Gun recruits love. And she will, of course, be Cruise’s love interest as the trailer suggested, where they recreated the iconic motorbike scene.

After numerous delays, it looks like Top Gun: Maverick is finally will finally hit the theaters on November 29th, 2021. Cruise’s appearance with Graham Norton shows that he is now going to give this movie the global press tour that it deserves.