Actor Jay Ellis has been receiving a lot of messages from fans lately, and he has been "blown away" so far. The Top Gun: Maverick star shared some of the fan art he has received on Instagram last week. He thanked fans for the flattering depictions and said he is "feelin' the love."
Ellis shared four photos on Instagram last week, including a charcoal drawing of him in character as Lt. Reuben "Payback" Fitch, a cartoon of the ensemble cast and a clever collection of LEGO mini-figures resembling the cast. He wrote: "Blow away by all of the TGM art comin' thru!! Payback is feelin' the love" with a hands-raised emoji. The post got nearly 6,000 likes and plenty of comments from enthusiastic fans.
"Payback really is the coolest one tbh," one person wrote. Another added: "Oh that's some really awesome sketch," while a third wrote: "The third picture is the one I drew! thank you so much from Japan."
Ellis is one of the new cast members in Maverick, joining the new class of pilots learning from original Top Gun hero Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Tom Cruise). The actor has TV credits going back to 2005 and movie credits going back to 2010. Some of the titles he is best known for include Grey's Anatomy, NCIS, How I Met Your Mother, iCarly, The Game and Insecure, among others. Ellis won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 2018 for his depiction of Martin on Insecure.
Top Gun: Maverick has set a new bar not just for Ellis' career but for all of the cast members and for the movie industry itself. The film is still going strong at the box office after more than a month, and it remains one of just two movies to earn more than a billion dollars since the COVID-19 pandemic began. It has even become the highest-earning film of Tom Cruise's entire career.
Many people have celebrated the success of Maverick in particular because it is not a superhero movie, and, while it is a sequel it is not a part of a massive franchise. It beat out Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness at the box office and outlasted much of its competition as well. While most movies now jump to streaming services within two months of their theatrical premieres, Paramount CEO Tom Ryan said that Maverick's theatrical-exclusive window would be extended.
Top Gun: Maverick is still in many theaters now around the U.S. The original 1986 film is streaming on Paramount+.