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What Jennifer Connelly Was Afraid To Tell Tom Cruise While Filming Top Gun: Maverick

When it comes to intimidating actors in Hollywood, Tom Cruise is easily at the very top of the list. Not only has the longtime screen star appeared in countless action flicks and other huge cinematic projects over the years, but he's also known to do all of his very own stunts — many of which involve him actually putting his life on the line. So when it came time for Cruise's "Top Gun: Maverick" co-star Jennifer Connelly to start shooting some of their action scenes together, the "Snowpiecer" frontwoman was understandably nervous, especially since she had a major secret she was keeping from Cruise. 

You see, throughout "Top Gun: Maverick," there are numerous instances where the "Mission Impossible" icon actually flies the planes he's using during the film. Cruise is a certified pilot who reportedly got his license all the way back in 1994 (via OSM Aviation Academy), and he's been known to fly alone whenever a movie calls for it. However, in "Maverick," there's a scene that features both Cruise and Connelly's characters in the cockpit of an old-school P-51 fighter plane. 

According to Connelly — who spoke about the ordeal with Cruise on "The Graham Norton Show" last April — she tried her best to play it cool during the scene. But there was ultimately one really big thing that was bothering her, which she initially refused to reveal to Cruise. 

Jennifer Connelly was too scared to tell Tom Cruise she was afraid of flying

That's right, folks. Jennifer Connelly, one of the main stars of "Top Gun: Maverick" — a movie centered solely around flying — had actually suffered from a "crippling fear" of the mile-high activity for years before "just recently" getting over it, she revealed on "Graham Norton." 

"I was afraid to tell Tom at the time," Connelly explained, noting how Cruise had no idea she was afraid of flying when the two shot their P-51 scene together. "I had just recently sort of decided to think myself out of a really crippling fear of flying that I had suffered from for years," Connelly recalled (via YouTube). "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."

According to Connelly, the scene she was shooting with Cruise initially called for them to just be "taxiing on a runway" inside of the P-51. However, true to form, Cruise decided to make things interesting by moving the plane to its rightful place in the sky. Connelly later recounted the story of the day Cruise broke the news to her. 

After inquiring if she'd ever even been in a plane like a P-51 before, Cruise asked Connelly if she had any prior experience doing acrobatic flying. "I was like, starting to get nervous," Connelly said. "'Ummm. No. Why? Will I be doing some?'"

Fortunately, Connelly insists that Cruise did his best to reassure her. "He's like, 'It's gonna be very graceful, very elegant, just very elegant rolls. It's gonna be nice and easy,'" Connelly said. "So, yeah. That's how I found out I was going to be up in the P-51 with Tom flying it."