3 reasons we’re excited for Monica Barbaro in Top Gun 2

CHICAGO JUSTICE -- "Uncertainty Principle" Episode 107 -- Pictured: Monica Barbaro as Anna Valdez -- (Photo by: Parrish Lewis/NBC)
CHICAGO JUSTICE -- "Uncertainty Principle" Episode 107 -- Pictured: Monica Barbaro as Anna Valdez -- (Photo by: Parrish Lewis/NBC) /

Chicago Justice’s Monica Barbaro has been cast in the Top Gun sequel Top Gun: Maverick, and here’s why we can’t wait to see her in Top Gun 2.

Former Chicago Justice star Monica Barbaro has landed another high-profile role: she’s joined the flight crew for the upcoming Top Gun sequel, called Top Gun: Maverick.

According to a new report from Deadline this week, Monica was one of several supporting actors added to the Tom Cruise-led movie; no details were given about her character other than that she will be playing “another Top Gun pilot.”

Between this and her new Netflix series premiering next month she has a lot ahead of her since playing Assistant State’s Attorney Anna Valdez, and we’re excited for it.

Here are three reasons we think Monica Barbaro will be excellent in Top Gun 2:

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1) She’ll play a great, strong role

Monica demonstrated on Chicago Justice that she knows how to play a strong female part, and that makes her an excellent fit for Top Gun 2. Being a fighter pilot definitely requires someone who can hang tough!

Several Justice episodes gave her opportunities to show off her character’s strength, as she was able to spar with defense attorneys and even her bosses in the State’s Attorney’s Office. “Judge Not” proved that Anna would hold to what she believed in, even when it was to her own potential detriment.

That’s the kind of gumption that will fit right in, in the fast-paced and never say die world of Top Gun. She’ll make sure her character is no pushover—and will be memorable for the audience.

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2) It’s in familiar territory

Early indicators make it sound like this movie is in the traditional sequel mold, bringing back Tom Cruise’s character from the first film to mentor or at least interact with a group of younger pilots, including Monica Barbaro’s character.

We’ve already seen what she can do in that kind of setup on Chicago Justice. Remember that Anna was specifically hired by Peter Stone (Philip Winchester), and throughout the first season she was both learning from him and challenging him. It seems like there’s going to be a similar dynamic at work in Top Gun 2.

That gives Monica Barbaro an advantage, because she knows how to play that. Not only does she have experience, but she’ll be sure to make it something different than the usual mentor-mentee relationship we see so often; she’ll play it as a two-way street, making the character (and the film) that much more interesting.

3) She’ll get to use more of her wit

One of the things we didn’t get to see on Chicago Justice is how funny Monica Barbaro can be. The cases Anna was working on were quite serious, but in other roles like her recent ABC sitcom guest arc she’s shown off solid comic ability. And Top Gun 2 wouldn’t be complete without a handful of one-liners for its pilots.

It’s a safe bet that there’s going to be some humor in here somewhere, whether it’s some banter between the competing pilots or something light-hearted happening off the clock, and Monica has that part handled, too. She’ll create a fully rounded aviator who’s engaging both in and out of the cockpit, and the audience should come away from Top Gun: Maverick with a better understanding of how talented she is.

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