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‘Top Gun: Maverick’ star Jennifer Connelly says Tom Cruise helped her face ‘a really crippling fear of flying’

Jennifer Connelly has credited Tom Cruise for helping her overcome a major fear of hers.

The two are starring together in the upcoming film “Top Gun: Maverick” where the actress was faced with severe anxiety around flying. 

“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,” the events recently revealed on the “Graham Norton Show.”

“And so originally when I signed on to do the movie there was no flying for my character,” the 50-year-old explained. “My character was on land, she was on the water, she was never in the air.”


However, Connelly realized she would have to face her fears when she and Cruise, 58, needed to film a scene involving a small P-51 plane. 

“He’s like, ‘Jen have you ever been in a plane like this before?’ Connelly recalled. “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,” the star shared.

“Top Gun: Maverick” was originally scheduled to be released on July 2nd. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will now debut in theaters on Nov. 19. 

In May 2020, Connelly told Extra she was excited to finally see the film.

“Those flying sequences are going to be so extraordinary and I think it is a movie that would be great to see on big screens if and when we can get back there,” she said at the time.


Even after a 30-year gap between turns as the titular Maverick, Cruise’s well-documented work ethic was present on set, Connelly said.

“I’ve never seen anyone work harder, be more committed to his work, more devoted to his work,” she noted. “Nothing is taken for granted. Every moment is an opportunity to do all that he can do, to deliver the best thing that he can possibly deliver.”

In fact, Cruse’s dedication rubbed off on Connelly a bit.

“I’ve never been more paranoid about knowing my lines,” admitted the actress. “This is a tight ship… It definitely adds a degree of pressure because he’s so prepared all the time.”

Fox News’ Nate Day contributed to this report.

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