No Best Actor Oscar Nom for Tom Cruise, Despite Jennifer Connelly Saying He 'Deserves' One for Top Gun

For many “Top Gun: Maverick” fans it was a disappointing Tuesday when Tom Cruise failed to receive a Best Actor Oscar nomination for the blockbuster sequel.

Among those mourning the snub is surely his co-star in the film, Jennifer Connelly, who just two days prior went on record to enthusiastically explain why she believes he “absolutely deserve[d]” to be nominated by the Academy.

While speaking with Variety at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, Connelly — who stars as Penny opposite Cruise’s Peter “Maverick” Mitchell in the film — praised Cruise’s performance.

“He’s extraordinary. I think he does an amazing job in the movie,” said Connelly, 52. “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,” she continued, before pointing out all of the “work” Cruise, 60, put into the role.

“Besides all the stuff on the ground and how wonderful he is in those scenes and creating those relationships,” Connelly said. “I think the relationship he has with Miles [Teller]’s character is so beautiful and moving. But the work that he did to accomplish those flying sequences, it’s something else. It really is.”

On Tuesday, the 95th Annual Academy Awards nominations were announced. Cruise was shut out of the Best Actor category, while Austin Butler (“Elvis”), Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”), Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”) and Bill Nighy (“Living”) received nominations.

Although Cruise wasn’t nominated for Best Actor at the 2023 Golden Globes or SAG Awards either, he was recognized at the Critics’ Choice Awards, but lost to Fraser.

Fortunately, there is still a chance that Cruise can win an Oscar for “Top Gun: Maverick” as the film is one of the 10 up for Best Picture, with Cruise being nominated for his role as a producer, which marks his fourth Oscar nomination.

Cruise was previously nominated for Best Actor in 1990 and 1997 for his roles in “Born on the Fourth of July” and “Jerry Maguire,” respectively. He also received a nod for Best Supporting Actor in 2000 for “Magnolia.”

Including Best Picture, “Top Gun: Maverick” received five nominations in total for the 2023 Oscars, with the film also being recognized in four other categories: Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, Visual Effects, Sound and Best Original Song for Lady Gaga’s hit, “Hold My Hand.”

See the full list of 2023 Oscar nominations, here.

The 95th Annual Academy Awards will air live on March 12 on ABC.

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