• Top Gun: Maverick premieres soon
  • Jennifer Connelly and Tom Cruise co-star
  • Now the actress raves about her colleague

Jennifer Connelly, 51, plays bar owner "Penny Benjamin" in the long-awaited Top Gun: Maverick sequel

It's a new character in the movie which comes 36 years after the original. Connelly now revealed what went into her role and what it was like working with Tom Cruise for the first time. 

Speaking to Variety, Jennifer Connelly explained how she mastered bartending for the film. "We had a working beer tap on set, and I spent a lot of time pouring. I practiced a lot because I thought that would be a terrible giveaway if I couldn't do it properly."

Jennifer Connelly on Tom Cruise

The Oscar-winner plays the lover of Tom Cruise's character, "Pete Maverick Mitchell," in the film, and Jennifer Connelly enjoyed acting with the Hollywood legend for the first time.

The Requiem for a Dream actress added: "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, so I felt beholden to him, [producer] Jerry Bruckheimer and the audiences who love the film so much."

Also interesting:

Jennifer isn't involved in some of the more dramatic action scenes in the movie, but she did film a sailing sequence in difficult conditions in San Francisco.

Connelly said that she was worried about forgetting something during the frantic scene, so she practiced at home with her family — on top of a coffee table!

Check out where the original Top Gun cast is today here.