Jay Ellis Explains Why ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Is a ‘Gift That Keeps on Giving’

Jay Ellis on Jennifer Hudson Show (Credit: YouTube)

Four years after filming Top Gun: Maverick, Jay Ellis says the blockbuster continues to bring rewards.

Ellis appeared on Friday’s episode of the Jennifer Hudson Show, and admitted he was surprised the Tom Cruise-led blockbuster picked up six Oscar nominations — because awards voters often ignore big budget action movies for smaller character-driven films.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “This movie is like the gift that just keeps on giving.”

“To shoot this movie over four years ago, and then for us to be in this bubble, and for it to come out to the world and be so successful at the box office, and for so many people to love it,” he continued, “it’s just an amazing feeling.”

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The film is nominated for Oscars for best picture, film editing, original song, sound, visual effects, and adapted screenplay.

Ellis said preparing for his role as Lt. Reuben ‘Payback’ Fitch in the film was intense.

The cast had to get in incredible physical shape and he learned to pilot planes. He began his flight training on a Cessna before graduating to a fighter jet.

“Tom created this flight program for us that went all the way to F-18s,” he said.

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Cruise produced the movie, in addition to starring in it with Ellis, Glen Powell, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Danny Ramirez, and Jon Hamm.

Top Gun: Maverick made $1.4 billion worldwide, and was the top grossing domestic movie of 2022.

Watch the interview below: