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Top Gun: Maverick Fans Are Gutted That Manny Jacinto's Fritz Was So Underused

There are not many career snags that are tougher for an actor than being cut out of a movie after shooting it. Whether it's weeks or months, a movie production is a grueling, exhausting process for everyone involved. Having to go through all that work, just to find out that your efforts were reduced to solely a paycheck, must be emotionally crushing, especially for someone who's considered up-and-coming. 

Kevin Costner, for example, experienced this early in his career, when he was completely cut out of the film "The Big Chill." Similarly, for Manny Jacinto, his role in "Top Gun: Maverick," may have been the one that would've taken his career to a new level, but when the movie was released, fans saw how his part was reduced to almost nothing.

For those who are not familiar with Jacinto's work, his breakout role came as Jason Mendoza in the series "The Good Place." As for "Top Gun: Maverick," timing seemed to be on his side, as Jacinto ended his run with the popular comedy series to roll into the next chapter of his career, booking the part of Lieutenant Billy "Fritz" Avalon in the Tom Cruise blockbuster hit. The film, which was set to be released in 2020, was delayed due to the pandemic, but when it finally hit theaters, fans found that Jacinto's role appeared no more significant than a featured extra. As devastating as that must've been, the majority of people vocal about the cut, so far, are online fans.

Manny Jacinto was practically reduced to a background filler

When Manny Jacinto began talking in public about his role in the upcoming sequel, "Top Gun: Maverick," he gave no indication that his part was significantly reduced by producers. When he spoke to ABS-CBN News, he enthusiastically detailed the tough preparation for the film."The flight training was really intense, it was great ... " he said. "It was demanding, but it was probably the best experience that I've been through prepping for a movie." However, when the final product was released, it proved that the training ended up more for Jacinto's personal enjoyment rather than for the production, as he's virtually never seen or heard in the movie itself.

Fans of Jacinto were quick to point out this unfortunate circumstance. On Twitter, @Lucyj_ford declared, "Still thinking about the fact Manny Jacinto is in "Top Gun: Maverick" but has no speaking lines and barely ever has his full face on screen." Over on Reddit, some fans didn't even realize he was in the movie until hearing about it afterward. U/bsquared77 said, "Oh dip! I just watched this last night and I didn't even notice him. I feel cheated." While u/Foloreille admitted, "I absolutely did not notice our boy!" 

As for the possible reasoning for this, back on Twitter, @ChrisHewitt explained, "There was a much bigger storyline at one point featuring the 'other' squad of pilots who were contenders for the mission. When that got stripped away, as I understand it, so did Manny."