Tom Cruise Unknowingly Helped Jennifer Connelly Overcome Her Fear Of Flying During Top Gun: Maverick

Flying has never been something I have been afraid of. Plenty of people out there strap into their seat belts on an airplane and lose their minds. I have seen people grab hold of the seat in front of them and the person beside them simultaneously at the slightest bump in the air with the fear of god in their eyes. The only thing I dislike about air travel is the constant ear popping. I am someone who has struggled with ear infections and whatnot his whole life, and the popping drives me nuts. But the fear of flying, or more specifically crashing, is not one I have ever had.

An old remedy you hear about people who are scared of flying is that they should learn how to fly. The thinking there is if you know how it all works, you no longer would be afraid when it is not you controlling the plane. You experience all the problems firsthand and realize there is actually not much to be scared of at all. However, it takes a long time and a lot of studying and practice to get a pilot's license. Not everyone has that kind of free time, money, or dedication to do it. If you get a pilot's license and can't afford a plane, what kind of use is that license of yours going to get? For most, it is a rather impractical method of getting over your fear.

Of course, sometimes all you need is one jolt of adrenaline to snap you out of fear, where you move so fast you do not even have time to be afraid. Such was the case with Jennifer Connelly, one of the stars of "Top Gun: Maverick," who unexpectedly ended up having to face her fear of flying.

A plane with Tom Cruise inside will not stay on the ground

When you sign up to be in a "Top Gun" movie, that does not necessarily mean you are signing up to fly a plane. Sure, if you are cast as a United States Navy pilot, you probably should get some in some reps in the cockpit of a plane. Jennifer Connelly does not play a pilot in the film, though. Her character owns a bar. She may live in the world of these people doing rolls and flips in the air, but she is not one of them. That was good news for Connelly, as she is scared of flying. She gets to be in the cool plane movie but doesn't have to get in the air. A win-win.

But then she got in a plane with Tom Cruise. Cruise has been a pilot for decades and has no qualms getting up in the air. In an interview on "The Graham Norton Show," Connelly revealed how Cruise convinced her to be in a flying scene:

"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. There was a scene, at one point, where we were taxiing on a runway ... So, Tom and I are shooting that scene, and the plane, the P-51 is, like, tiny. The top of the cockpit is right here. My knees are up against his back, and he's like, 'Jen, have you ever been in a plane like this before?' I was like, 'No, no, I haven't, Tom. It's amazing.' He's like, 'Ever done aerobatic flying before?' I was like, 'Umm,' starting to get nervous, 'No. Why? Will I be doing some?' He's like, 'It's going to be very graceful, very elegant, just some very elegant rolls, you know. 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."

A ... tolerance for speed?

Tom Cruise may be a person we think about risking his life on screen for crazy stunts, but in reality, he does not do a single one without the utmost assurance of safety. He trains and prepares for things like this like nobody else and knows exactly what he is doing. So if you go up in a plane that Cruise is flying, you can best believe he is not going to do something that isn't absolutely safe.

So once he had Jennifer Connelly doing aerial rolls, I can imagine that getting on board a JetBlue flight feels like a piece of cake now. Then again, with the mask situation on air travel now, maybe it is actually more dangerous than it has ever been. Better just stick to personal pilot Tom Cruise.