Why Jennifer Connelly Thinks Her Looks Held Back Her Career

Jennifer Connelly may have channeled the '80s as Tom Cruise's adventurous love interest Penny in the belated "Top Gun: Maverick." But for much of the actor's career, she's been focused on more serious films and dramas. In fact, "Top Gun" may be the lightest film Connelly has done since "The Labyrinth" and even that movie featured goblins kidnapping a toddler. (Not to mention David Bowie in tights).

Part of that movie magic has actually created by design. Connelly has always been notoriously picky when it comes to her film roles. She's even taken time off between films because she's rather focus on her family than star in a movie that wasn't right for her. In an interview with The Guardian, she said, "I got to spend the whole year with my kids and my husband. And that's wonderful. My job really suits me." Not that all of the films Connelly signs up for are critical darlings. She starred in two flops, "Creation" and "Shelter" opposite real-life husband Paul Bettany. The former got especially scathing reviews. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette wrote for instance, "Jennifer Connelly plays his wife, Emma. A squandered opportunity."

But often, some films have been outside of the actor's control or grasp. Connelly says her looks have affected her career as well. According to the actor, she doesn't get cast for certain roles.

Jennifer Connelly doesn't star in comedies thanks to her looks

"Requiem for a Dream?" "A Beautiful Mind?" Take your pick, but you have to admit that Jennifer Connelly has a knack for starring in some of the most devastating dramas. Unfortunately for the actor, Connelly believes that she is cast in dramas solely because of her looks. For that reason, she finds herself gravitating toward heavier material.

She told CBS Sunday Morning, "I don't know. But I tend to get cast more in dramas. I think it's my eyebrows. I look very serious. I look stern even when I'm not stern. If I'm not feeling cross, I look a little bit cross. I can't help it. It's just my face." She later confirmed to Femail that she would have to push to work on a comedy. "At this point I might have a bit of trouble trying to get myself cast in a comedy, but I'd love to do one. I haven't really done one as a grown-up person."

Fortunately, Connelly got to star in some lighter affair when she appeared in "Spider-Man: Homecoming." You probably wouldn't recognize her though. Connelly ended up providing the voice for Peter Parker's A.I. system in his suit. Though she didn't appear on screen, Connelly flexed her comedy chops. Reportedly, she had a remarkable better time than the last time she attempted a superhero film.

Jennifer Connelly flops at box office after Oscar win

The year 2002 was a big one for Jennifer Connelly when she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for starring in "A Beautiful Mind." The Oscars is obviously the highest pinnacle in acting, but many viewers turned to see what the star might do next after winning such a prestigious award. Unfortunately, Connelly decided to star in the critical and commercial flop, "Hulk."

To Connelly's credit, the film was directed by Ang Lee of "Sense and Sensibility" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" fame. He described the superhero film as something character-based and right up Connelly's ally. In an interview with Sci-Fi Wire, Connelly said, "He said, 'Well, it's really a Greek tragedy. It's actually a psychodrama.'"

In an interview with The Guardian, Connelly expressed how disappointed she was with how the film turned out. "I can't say that I feel entirely neutral about it," she explained. "Who wouldn't want people to respond favorably to something that they make? I want that, too." Fortunately for Connelly, her career didn't take a hit. While you won't see her in a straight comedy, Connelly continues to churn out interesting characters such as in "Top Gun: Maverick" and the TV show "Snowpiercer."