Top Gun star Jennifer Connelly developed a fear of flying after daughter's health scare

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Jennifer Connelly has recalled how she
Jennifer Connelly has recalled how she 'struggled with separation' from her young daughter. (Getty Images)

Top Gun: Maverick star Jennifer Connelly has revealed how she developed a fear of flying following her daughter's health scare.

The actress, 51, shared how she "struggled with separation" from her youngest child Agnes, now 10, which led to "panic" when finding herself on a plane.

The 51-year-old told The Sunday Times' Style magazine: "My armchair analysis of myself is that we’d had a health scare with our youngest child, Agnes, when she was very little.

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"It wound up being nothing, sort of a false alarm, but it was enough to really frighten me. As a result, I struggled with separation.

"I never loved flying, but it got worse the first time I travelled without her, that was the first time I had a real panic.

"I always knew it was something I could out-think because I was always better when I was coming home.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Jennifer Connelly attends the Royal Performance of
Connelly attends the premiere of Top Gun: Maverick in London's Leicester Square on 19 May. (Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

However, Connelly noted that her fear had eased by the time she began filming Top Gun: Maverick, which stars Tom Cruise and follows the adventures of the top US aviators.

She said: "Fortunately, right before doing this film I was having to commute a lot by plane and I thought, ‘This is just unsustainable, I have to work through this issue,’ so I just kind of found my angle."

In one scene in the new film, Connelly is a passenger on a motorbike being driven at high speed by co-star Tom Cruise.

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She said: "I felt like I was in capable hands, I didn’t worry for a moment about his skill as a motorcycle rider or as a pilot."

Connelly rose to fame as a child in films such as Once Upon A Time In America and Labyrinth, followed by adult roles in movies including Requiem for a Dream and A Beautiful Mind.

As well as her daughter, she is mother to sons Kai, 24, and Stellan, 18, and is married to actor Paul Bettany.

Watch: Celebrities reveal their mental health struggles

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