Top Gun Actress Jennifer Connelly Was Scared of Flying After Daughter's Health Scare

"I thought, 'This is just unsustainable, I have to work through this issue'"

Jennifer Connelly may star in a film featuring some of the world’s best fighter pilots, but there was a time where flying made her nervous.

During an interview with The Sunday Times’ Style Magazine, the 51-year-old actress revealed that she had “struggled with separation” anxiety when it came to parting with her daughter Agnes after she had experienced a health scare.

The “Top Gun: Maverick” star said that the separation would lead to panic, “My armchair analysis of myself is that we’d had a health scare with our youngest child, Agnes, when she was very little. It wound up being nothing, sort of a false alarm, but it was enough to really frighten me.”

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She continued, “As a result I struggled with separation. I never loved flying, but it got worse the first time I traveled without her, that was the first time I had a real panic. I always knew it was something I could outthink because I was always better when I was coming home.”

Luckily, Jennifer was able to conquer her fear before joining co-star Tom Cruise in a two-seater plane.

“Fortunately right before doing this film I was having to commute a lot by plane and I thought, ‘This is just unsustainable, I have to work through this issue,’ so I just kind of found my angle,” Connelly admitted.

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Despite her previous trepidations, Jennifer says there wasn’t a moment where she felt uneasy about Cruise’s skills on the motorbike or the plane.

“I just found him to be quite extraordinary, he is incredibly dedicated in everything he does,” she said earlier in the interview. “I felt like I was in capable hands, I didn’t worry for a moment about his skill as a motorcycle rider or as a pilot …”

Although Connelly was not required to join Cruise and the other actors on an intensive preparatory bootcamp, the actress did learn to sail a boat which was integral to her character’s passion for sailing.

“They wanted Penny to be able to hold her own with Maverick. She has a hefty dose of zest for life too,” she said.


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