Jennifer Connelly: the former Hollywood prodigy who cultivates a low-key marriage and does not escape sex scenes

He says that he had no choice, that he could not choose. In every interview she gives, Jennifer Connelly – who now returns to the big screen with Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick– is responsible for making it clear that it was not she who chose to follow the path that has been traveling for more than 40 years.

“I started working when I was so young that I wasn’t making my own decisions. It was my mother who encouraged my career and took me to all the castings, only when I was older was I able to become independent, ”the actress recently recalled in a note with The Guardian. The New Yorker with a perfect face and deep gaze does not complain about her either: it would be hypocritical to deny her life as a Hollywood star. However, she seeks to unmask just how harsh the movie industry can be on child prodigies. “In my childhood, I lived through circumstances that were very tense, I felt absolutely objectified and sexualized.”, he confessed in another interview with EL PAIS.

Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie in Jim Henson's Labyrinth
Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth

And it is that although it stands out that he had very enriching experiences -such as when he participated in Once upon a Time in Americaby Sergio Leone, or when he had to share the screen with David Bowie in Labyrinthone of the most emblematic films of the 1980s-, there are others that I would prefer to forget. In hot zone, an erotic film in which she worked with Don Johnson -with whom it was even rumored that she had a love relationship- she had to do her first nude. She was just 19 years old.

One can feel terribly exposed in the film industry. I understand those who, being young, looked for a place that made them feel safe. Everyone finds safety in a different place: in family, in faith, or in drugs. My youth refuge was the study”, He told to remember his time at Yale.

Jennifer Connelly and Tom Cruise in Cannes
Jennifer Connelly and Tom Cruise in CannesD.Charriau – WireImage

Three decades later, and already positioned as a renowned actress thanks to her roles in Requiem for a dream –the cult film directed by Darren Aronofsky– and A brilliant mind –a film by Ron Howard that earned her an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best actress–, Connelly returns to the cinema with the help of Top Gun: Maverickthe sequel to the eighties classic that opens on May 26.

In it, she will be Penny Benjamin, owner of a bar frequented by Air Force pilots and who, of course, manages to steal the heart of Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, the character who catapulted Tom Cruise to fame at the beginning of his career. . Although they were two icons of the 80s and 90s, this is the first time that Jennifer works with Nicole Kidman’s ex, whom she defined as “extraordinary and disciplined”.

Of course, the meeting of Cruise and Connelly on the screen did not go unnoticed by anyone, and even brought some controversy. In the networks, for example, many wondered why, if they had summoned a large part of the original cast for this second part, they ignored Kelly McGuillisthe actress who in the first top gun She played Charlie Blackwood, the instructor who drove the young pilot crazy with love.

It was McGuillis herself who was in charge of dispelling all doubts. “I am old, I am fat and I see myself according to my age. And the film is not about any of that. I prefer to feel good about my skin and who I am at my age instead of valuing all these other things, “the 62-year-old interpreter told ET.

Jennifer Connelly and Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick
Jennifer Connelly and Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverickparamount

Director Joseph Kosinski, on the other hand, denied this version and clarified that both the absence of McGuillis and Meg Ryan are due exclusively to the fact that “they were not the stories that were being considered.” “I didn’t want each story to constantly look back, preferring instead to introduce some new characters”, he clarified, thus justifying the incorporation of other actors to the cast.

Connelly, who only knows about her private life that she has three children and has been married to actor Paul Bettany since 2003, did not comment on the exclusion of her colleague, but she did refer several times to the passage of time and the pressure that Hollywood exerts on the stars -especially on women- so as not to age.

Jennifer Connelly with her husband, actor Paul Bettany
Jennifer Connelly with her husband, actor Paul BettanyAP

Very sure of herself, Connelly made it clear that the passage of time does not affect her. In Top Gun: MaverickWe can even see her in a sex scene with Cruise, scenes that Hollywood almost always reserves for much younger actors. According to her, age was not a problem for either of them when they undressed in front of the camera. “We focus on the intimacy of how they fit into each other’s lives -he said a few days ago, in dialogue with Variety-. They have a very tender relationship. They share a moment in bed talking and that says as much about their relationship as the scene that is the preamble. (…) Clearly, they have some unresolved issues between them, and she handles it with humor and joy. I feel like she is someone who is positive and moving towards happiness.”

With her beauty still intact this was recently demonstrated on the red carpet in Cannes She usually makes it clear that not only is she not worried about being a 50-year-old woman, but she also enjoys the fact that in her maturity she already has more clarity about “what things are really important in life.”

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