Jennifer Connelly starred in one of the biggest movies of 2022, “Top Gun: Maverick,” as badass bar owner Penelope Benjamin, who has a love connection with Tom Cruise’s Maverick. Cruise’s name has been kicked around as a potential dark horse best actor Oscar nominee, and Connelly told Variety that the nod would be well-deserved due to the scope of his accomplishments on set.

“He’s extraordinary,” she said. “He does an amazing job in the movie. 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.”

“I think that the film is a really well made film and it’s really hard to make a film like that,” Connelly continued. “Also, thinking about Tom’s work, think of the things that he did for that role. 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’ character is so beautiful and moving. But the work that he did to accomplish those flying sequences, it’s something else.”

Connelly spoke about Cruise during a discussion about her new movie “Bad Behaviour” at the Variety Studio presented by Audible at Sundance. She was joined by her co-stars Ben Whishaw and Alice Englert. Englert also wrote and directed the film, which is about a difficult mother-daughter relationship that is fundamentally changed by a retreat for spiritual enlightenment.

“In general, I really appreciated the tone of the writing,” Connelly said about why she signed on for the film. “Specifically, one scene that really tickled me was the mother-baby exercise scene. By the time I got there I was like, ‘This is so funny. This is so deliciously funny to me.’ I was kind of hooked by then.”