Actress Monica Barbaro snagged a career-defining movie role in "Top Gun: Maverick," which is set to be released in June 2020. "Top Gun: Maverick" is the sequel to the 1986 film "Top Gun," which established Tom Cruise (who plays the lead character Pete "Maverick" Mitchell) as an A-list Hollywood star.

In the movie, Monica plays a female pilot who is the love interest of Miles Teller, who plays the son of the late Nick "Goose" Bradshaw (played by Anthony Edwards in 1986). Goose was Maverick's flight buddy.

The movie is bound to open so many more doors for Monica. There's already a lot of buzz about her. Here are eight interesting facts about her.

1. Monica's mom is of Mexican, German, English and Welsh descent.

She talked about her mother's connection to Mexico in an Instagram post. She revealed: "I talked to my mom after visiting the Alamo once. She told me about how her textbooks portrayed the Battle of the Alamo with courageous Texans standing their ground while the savage Mexicans scrambled up the side of a wall. This among other stories she'd told me of being judged and questioned about her skin color and facial features, and her mother - who wore the finest jewelry and brands at all times so as not to have her worth questioned - being called out for her unmistakeable accent."

2. Monica was born on Jun. 18, 1990 in San Francisco. She grew up in in Mill Valley, California. She is pretty much the quintessential California girl who is bubbly and fierce at the same time.

3. Monica's parents are Heidi Wagner and Nicholas Barbaro, who is of Italian descent. 

4. Monica initially trained to be a professional dancer. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance degree from the New York University (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts. However, in an interview with Cosmopolitan, she revealed: "I guess you could compare it to being with someone and you know it's not quite right. You love them but not enough, and you can't stop thinking about doing other things with your life. That's kind of how I was with ballet. When I went to NYU, I took as many electives as I could in Acting. Once I got out of school, I was like, 'OK, this is my time.' I had that realization: 'I can't not do this any longer.'"  

5. Monica is actually also a very good artist. She shared a photo of a quick sketch that she did on her Instagram page and a lot of her followers were delighfully surprised by this "hidden" talent.

6. Monica's first big break was in Season 2 of the Lifetime TV series "UnREAL." The show is all about a reality TV show called "Everlasting." It's essentially a dating show akin to "The Bachelor." Monica played a contestant named Yael.

In real life, though, she would never sign up to be a contestant in a dating-focused reality TV series. She told Elle: "I just feel like dating is such a personal experience and that's why I cringe at watching people go through that. Those uncomfortable moments and having those conversations. Especially with those shows, for me, it's like 'No!' I'm not a kiss-and-tell kind of a person."

7. Monica starred opposite singer Josh Groban in "The Good Cop," a 10-episode series for Netflix. The series is a "dramedy." She gained a lot of fans via NBC's "Chicago Justice" and ABC’s comedy series "Splitting Up Together."

8. Monica said she was not keen on singing with Josh Groban, who, as everyone knows, is an accomplished singer. She revealed in an interview that she told him, "The idea of singing in front of you on camera is just terrifying." But, she jokingly told the interviewer, "But he was really sick that day, so it was fine." 

Tom Cruise Tom Cruise is as popular as ever. Creative Commons