Sunday, May 26, 2024

‘Top Gun’ star Tom Cruise ready to fly again as co-star Jennifer Connelly says ‘I’ll be there’

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It’s been 38 years since the Hollywood movie classic “Top Gun” premiered, and Tom Cruise is still in fighting shape.

Ahead of the film’s anniversary on May 16, the 61-year-old actor took to Instagram to share a series of photos that feature behind-the-scenes snapshots of him and various cast members on the set of the original film and the 2022 sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick.” 

And Cruise proved he’s still in action-hero shape while enjoying a beach day this week in Mallorca, Spain. Cruise, who has been filming the latest “Mission: Impossible” film, flashed his toned abs while taking a dip in the ocean.

‘MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE’ STAR TOM CRUISE DEFIES AGE WITH DANGEROUS STUNTS: EXPERTS

Tom Cruise proves he’s in tip-top shape during a beach day in Spain. (Joan Llado / GTres / SplashNews.com)

In his Instagram post, Cruise wrote in a caption, “It’s incredible to look back on the thirty-eight years of ‘Top Gun.’ To the fans who have been with us since the start, there wouldn’t be a Top Gun Day without you.”

Tom Cruise on the set of "Top Gun: Maverick"

Tom Cruise (Paramount Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

Fans were quick to express their enthusiasm.

“Thank you so much for saving the film industry,” one follower commented.

“The fact that you guys managed to make the most amazing sequel ever two years ago, honoring Top Gun, is incredible!” another wrote.

In March, Jerry Bruckheimer – the producer for both the original “Top Gun” and “Top Gun: Maverick” – revealed that a third installment may be in the works.

“We’re working on [‘Top Gun 3’],” he told People magazine. “We pitched Tom a story he liked. But he’s a very in-demand actor, and he’s got a lot of movies lined up, so we have to wait and see.”

While it’s up in the air, “Top Gun: Maverick” actress Jennifer Connelly, who portrayed Penelope “Penny” Benjamin in the film, is on board if it does happen. 

Jennifer Connelly smiles on carpet

Jennifer Connelly portrayed Penelope “Penny” Benjamin in the 2022 film “Top Gun: Maverick.” (Getty Images)

“I’ll be there. I’m ready,” Connelly told “Entertainment Tonight.”

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“I haven’t seen anything,” she said. “I had a casual chat with my friend, Joe Kosinski, who directed it, who I worked with twice now. I’m his biggest fan. I think he’s so great. [I talked to him] about the possibility of it, but I don’t know anything concrete.”

One thing’s for sure, if “Top Gun 3” happens, Cruise is more than ready for it. 

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It’s no secret Cruise has remained in great physical shape throughout the years due to his demanding film schedule and his desire to perform most of his own stunts.

Tom Cruise walks red carpet at Mission Impossible premiere

Tom Cruise geared up for the release of “Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One.” (Primo Barol/Anadolu Agency)

According to Christine Haas, entertainment PR expert and CEO of Haas Media, Cruise’s ability to maintain such a strong physique has to do with his strong “discipline.” 

“Tom Cruise is notorious for his physical fitness and overall rigorous discipline,” Haas told Fox News Digital last year. “After speaking with a director who worked very closely with Tom Cruise over the past decade, it was very apparent that he has a high level of energy and is consistently auditing his behavior and actions daily with the help of his Scientology team. This level of demand and drive allows him to defy age and perform physically demanding stunts, leading to the consistent development of a masterful personal brand.”

“I believe he is one of very few celebrities who can continue with these types of risks because of the intense physical and mental protocol he lives by … without that consistent training, it would be far more dangerous. Like someone training for a marathon, he stays prepared instead of allowing his fitness level to regress and expose him to injuries,” she said.

“Top Gun” was the top-grossing movie of 1986 by a wide margin. The movie was so popular that 46 million people in North America bought tickets that year. The enduring popularity of “Top Gun” inspired a hit sequel 36 years later. “Top Gun: Maverick” proved to be the biggest box-office smash of 2022.

Tom Cruise step off a helicopter at the premiere of "Top Gun: Maverick" in a black suit

Tom Cruise has remained extremely disciplined when it comes to physical fitness. (Robyn Beck/AFP)

“Maverick” became the most-watched film in the world during its opening weekend release on the Paramount+ streaming platform.

The Joseph Kosinski-directed film stars Cruise alongside a long list of Hollywood celebrities, including Miles Teller, Jon Hamm, Ed Harris and Val Kilmer. “Maverick” also received numerous accolades, such as two Golden Globes nominations for best motion picture of a drama and best original song.

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Fox News Digital’s Kerry J. Byrne, Phillip Nieto, Emily Trainham and Larry Fink contributed to this post.

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