HomeEntertainment‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Star Jay Ellis Sings Tom Cruise’s Praises Amid Oscars Absence

‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Star Jay Ellis Sings Tom Cruise’s Praises Amid Oscars Absence

by Taylor Cunningham
Jay Ellis Tom Cruise
(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Tom Cruise may have been absent from last night’s Oscars, so his Top Gun: Maverick co-stars made it a point to keep him there in spirit.

While the movie was up for an impressive six awards last night, Cruise was unable to attend the ceremony. According to several sources, the actor was too busy filming Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 2 to attend.

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Despite Cruise’s absence, his Maverick co-stars were still remembering his impact on the movie and how effortlessly he mentored them through the filming and promotional process.

Jay Ellis, who starred as Lt. Reuben ‘Payback’ Fitch, was on hand for the ceremony. And as he was walking the red carpet, he took a moment to speak to US Weekly and praise Cruise’s abilities as a friend and mentor.

“He’s too kind. [Actually] not kind enough,” he laughed. “Tom, sorry, you can give me more. He’s really kind. He’s very gracious with his time, which I think is one of the most amazing things.”

Ellis went on to share that Tom Cruise always makes time for people. He said that a simple text to the A-Lister will often turn into a long phone conversation because Cruise diligently works through “all these different things and scenarios” when someone asks for help. He never skimps on efforts, which means a lot to Ellis.

“He’s just amazing [as] a mentor, a friend, a filmmaker, an acting coach, all of the above,” he gushed.

Jay Ellis Has Always Been a Big Tom Cruise Fan

Jay Ellis further admitted that he was a huge Tom Cruise fan even before landing his Maverick role. Before he broke into Hollywood himself, he had watched all of Cruise’s films several times. So he was a bit star-struck when he “got the opportunity to spend 10 months working with him on a movie and another however many months putting it out in the world and going on this press tour.”

“It’s crazy,” he added. “It’s absolutely bonkers.”

Top Gun: Maverick is heralded as the film that saved Hollywood after COVID took a toll on theater attendance. When it dropped over Memorial Day weekend, it broke box-office records and continued breaking records for months to come. The movie amassed nearly $1.5 billion before leaving theaters and moving to Paramount+.

The film ended up winning one category during the 95th annual Academy Awards, Best Sound.

“Listen, this is absolutely amazing to be a part of a film that’s being recognized with so many other amazing films,” Ellis continued. “This journey has been crazy. For four years, to have done this thing and been waiting for it to come out and now full circle be here with the Academy. Honoring this film or recognizing this film, it’s more than I could have ever imagined. More than any of us could have ever dreamed of.”