It couldn’t have been more spectacular. The red carpet of international premiere of Top Gun Maverick spread over the runway of the aircraft carrier USS Midway in San Diego, California. Tom Cruise landed at the controls of a helicopter and Jennifer Connelly dazzled with a wool dress embroidered with gold beads and crystals from Louis Vuitton. The film, which was released in Spain on May 26, is the latest work by the New York actress, who is also shooting the fourth season of the series Snowpiercer. Answer by mail to TELVA’s questions.
Days before, he had posed in a bright studio in New York, his city, with the latest Nicolas Ghesquire collection for Louis Vuitton, firm of which she is an ambassador. Of Ghesquire, whom he met when he designed his dress for the Oscars in 2002, says: “as a friend, he is wonderful, kind, funny, loyal and generous.”
After the premiere in Spain of Top Gun Maverick, what anecdote do you keep from filming?
It has been quite an adventure. There are action scenes with planes, boats, motorcycles, and all of them have a story. But the whole process as a whole has been unforgettable.
Go to the cinema to see her as another spectator?
I saw her last night at the world premiere in San Diego. It was exciting to be able to go back to a movie theater. What they have achieved with the airplane scenes is incredible and seeing it on a big screen is impressive.
She plays a single mother who runs a bar near the naval base and is reunited with Maverick. something else?
I play Penny Benjamin, a character who is mentioned in the first part of Top Gun. She and Pete have had an on-and-off relationship over time and have been through a lot together. I found it interesting to introduce the character in this film and I liked the way of presenting her: as a strong and independent woman who lives life intensely, with humor and joy.
How has the experience of shooting with Tom Cruise been?
Tom is a great actor and in this film he is fantastic. It is a privilege to be able to work with someone so talented. In addition, he takes his work very seriously and looks for ways to improve the story and contribute.
And what has it been like working with him on a big-budget blockbuster?
Again: Tom is a great actor, so it would be great to work with him on any kind of film. I have never come across an actor so involved in technological innovation, trying to capture all that extreme, revolutionary action. He is passionate about it and no one does it better. To achieve this, a large-scale film is needed.
When the first installment of Top Gun was released three decades ago, you were very young. Do you think Tom Cruise’s style at the time, with those white t-shirts, bomber jackets and RayBan sunglasses, influenced you?
I think Tom built a character that ended up becoming an icon and that timeless style of dress was a hit. He was perfect then and still is now.
Jennifer Connelly landed in the movies a bit by chance after working as a model since she was 10 years old. She has worked with the greats. From mythical movies like once upon a time in america, by Sergio Leone, or Labyrinth, directed by Jim Henson and starring David Bowie. He took a break from his career to study at Yale and Stanford. She picked it up by participating in cult movies like Requiem for a dream, successes like Blood Diamond, with Leonardo Dicaprio either american pastoralwith Ewan McGregor. In 2002, she won an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a Bafta for playing the physicist Alicia Nash in An amazing mindwith Russell Crowe. She personally is the mother of three children: Kai, born in 1997, who works as an engineer; Stellan, 18, who studies music, and Agnes, 10. Since 2003 she shares her life with the British actor Paul Bettany.
What professional project are you currently involved in?
When the promotion ends Top Gun Maverick, I’m going to New Zealand to shoot an independent film. After shooting in Vancouver more episodes of the fourth season of Snowpiercer.
What professional challenges do you have pending? Theater? Musicals? Steer? Produce?
I’m interested in all that, except musicals. Not because I don’t like them, but because I don’t have a voice for a musical.
You can anticipate some surprise that your character, Melanie, is going to give us in the new season of Snowpiercer?
She is in a different situation than what we have seen in previous seasons. But it is very difficult to tell anything without spoilers!
What value do you give to the word success right now?
Work alongside talented people and tell good stories. Do things that make me feel good and hopefully have some value to the people who see them.
What advice would you give to the new generation of actors?
I am more interested in learning from them than giving them advice.
What are your passions and hobbies?
Just being with my family is something that makes me happy. I love to ski, hike, travel, play (bad) tennis and run. I like to go from one place to another. I love going to museums and art galleries, I especially like painting, meeting friends and watching basketball and tennis matches. And I love my dog.
What is your favorite destination in the world, where you like to spend your vacations?
My home. But I also love to travel and see the world. In summer, we like to go as a family to Greece, southern Italy and Formentera. In winter, skiing.
Any destination you would like to travel to soon?
My favorites are the hiking adventures. So I plan to discover roads in Patagonia, in Norway and in the Alps.
He has three children of very different ages. How is your relationship with them? What would you highlight about each one?
My children are three of my favorite people in the world. They are very different from each other, they have their own talents and, at the same time, a very close relationship with each other.
He has lived most of his life in New York. Could you tell us which are the top places for her in the city?
We have some fantastic museums: the Met, the Whitney and I love the Frick collection. I also like walking through art galleries. Brooklyn Bridge Park is also very special. It was built on some abandoned docks.
How is your relationship with fashion beyond the red carpet?
It’s very influenced by my relationship with Nicolas (Ghesquire). As a designer, I think he is a genius.
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