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How Jennifer Connelly's Penny Was Teased In The Original Top Gun

On May 27, the much-anticipated "Top Gun: Maverick" will be soaring into theaters and it's already on track to be one of the biggest films of the summer. It's been 36 years since we last saw Tom Cruise in the pilot seat as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, but not much has changed for the Navy aviator in the new film. Maverick is still testing his limits in the air, but this time around, the former Top Gun pilot school student becomes the teacher. In the legacy sequel, Maverick is tasked with training Top Gun graduates for a highly specialized and extremely dangerous mission. One of the graduates happens to be Bradley "Rooster" Bradshaw (Miles Teller), the son of Maverick's old friend, Goose (Anthony Edwards), which forces Maverick to confront his past head-on.

Meanwhile, "Top Gun" fans are sure to notice the new flame riding on the back of Maverick's motorcycle. That brunette beauty is Penny Benjamin (Jennifer Connelly), who owns a local bar and is the daughter of an admiral. While Penny is a new face to the franchise, she and Maverick actually go way back. Speaking to Variety, Connelly said about the two characters, "I think those characters have a really tender relationship, the way she understands him ... Clearly, they have some unresolved business between them ..." Interestingly enough, that unresolved business was actually teased way back in the original film.

Penny and Maverick have a long history

While Penny never appeared on-screen in the original "Top Gun," she's actually referred to multiple times, revealing she and Maverick (Tom Cruise) have a long, complicated history. Not only is Maverick called out by Stinger (James Tolkan) at one point for his involvement with an admiral's daughter, but his friend Goose's wife Carole (Meg Ryan) even teases Maverick by saying, "[Goose] told me all about the time you went ballistic with Penny Benjamin."

Now with Penny actually in the new film, audiences will get to see how her and Maverick's relationship plays out. In an interview with FilmIsNow, Connelly gave some insight into Penny and Maverick's on-again, off-again relationship. "It started the first time when they were quite young. And you get the sense that they sort of come together, they have this sort of fiery romance, and then it falls apart," she said. "But then they keep coming back to each other."

Fans of the first film will surely miss Maverick's original love interest, Charlie, played by Kelly McGillis, but the actor doesn't hold any hard feelings for Connelly who replaced her. In fact, McGillis told ET she is "so glad [Connelly] got that opportunity." Fans will have to flock to the theaters on May 27 to see how Penny and Maverick resolve their unfinished business.