Jennifer Connelly relieved she didn't play a 'hot-shot pilot' in Top Gun: Maverick

Jennifer Connelly relieved she didn't play a 'hot-shot pilot' in Top Gun: Maverick

Jennifer Connelly was relieved her ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ character was “all about the water”.

The 51-year-old actress portrays Penny Benjamin in the long-awaited sequel and because she’s afraid of flying, she was grateful that she didn’t have a lot of scenes up in the sky.

She told Australia’s Who magazine: “It’s something I have dealt with to some degree, but I have to admit I was initially glad to know my character was all about the water and not some hot-shot pilot.”

However, Jennifer did have to face her fears in one particularly “intense” scene with Tom Cruise, who plays her love interest Pete ‘Maverick’ Mitchell.

She added: “Of course, once we were on set, I found out there was going to be a moment with me and Tom in a plane together.

“I didn’t want to mention my fear of flying, which is probably how I ended up to aerobatics in a P-51 Mustang piloted by Tom Cruise. That was pretty intense!

“Tom asked if I’d ever done any aerobatic flying. I said, ‘No… am I going to?’ He said, ‘We’re just going to do some easy rolls’ and ignited the engine.

“Flames burst out, which evidently is normal, but I certainly wasn’t expecting that.”

And Jennifer shared another particularly memorable scene with the action star, who famously loves to do his own stunts.

She said: “Riding on the back of a motorcycle with Tom was quite something and the sailing scenes we shot around San Francisco are something I will never forget.”

The movie marked the first time Jennifer has worked with Tom and she recently described her co-star as "exceptional".

She said: "I had never even met Tom Cruise before. He's so exceptional. Spending time with him, you understand how someone has been such a movie star for so many years.

"It was clear to me what the franchise means to him, (producer) Jerry Bruckheimer and the audiences who love the film so much."