A certified rider on the ridge for the box office, Tom Cruise undoubtedly stands as one of the big screen’s MVPs and has a trophy case to match. One award he’s still missing, however, is an Academy Award; although he’s nabbed three nominations over his decades-long career, Cruise still has yet to take home a statuette.
As Hollywood gears up for the Academy Awards in March— nominations will be announced tomorrow morning—Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick co-star Jennifer Connelly is joining his Best Actor campaign. Per Connelly, his return as Pete Mitchell in last summer’s acclaimed sequel was nothing short of “extraordinary.”
“He does an amazing job in the movie,” Connelly tells Variety in a new conversation. “He’s extraordinary as a person and fantastic as an actor, and I think that he is just perfect. He embodies that character so beautifully, and I think he absolutely deserves it.”
Beyond Cruise’s performance, Connelly also lauds Top Gun: Maverick’s achievement, noting that “it’s really hard to make a film like that.”
“Thinking about Tom’s work, think of the things that he did for that role,” she shares. “Besides all the stuff on the ground and how wonderful he is in those scenes and creating those relationships…I think the relationship he has with Miles [Teller’s] character is so beautiful and moving. But the work that he did to accomplish those flying sequences, it’s something else.”
For his own part, Cruise has remained mum about any nomination buzz— sike! Cruise “unofficially” kicked off his Oscar’s For Your Consideration campaign back in December in a typically laissez-faire manner: jumping out of a plane and offering his gratitude to viewers who turned out for Top Gun: Maverick while hurdling through mid-air. If the Academy takes wanting it badly enough into consideration, Cruise just might be at the front of the pack next to Austin Butler and his ever-enduring accent.