Anything Tom Brady touches produces a lot of headlines, and that trend stayed intact after a Hollywood Reporter story in February about 80 for Bradyhis debut feature film as a producer. Confirmed when Brady was set to retire from the NFL —he’s since rejoined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to further cement his GOAT status — the film stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Rita Moreno and Sally Field for director Kyle Marvin and Paramount Pictures. The story follows four best friends and New England Patriots fans who take a trip to 2017’s Super Bowl LI to see their hero Brady in action. In an interview for his latest Hertz campaign, Brady shared how the project landed on his lap, what it signals about his Hollywood ambitions and why he always aims to “over-deliver” on any project he touches.
Now that you’ve been in business for Hertz for a bit, how collaborative is the process or how collaborative are you as a partner?
I try to be super collaborative. I try to be involved from the beginning of the campaign to the end and obviously, on camera, behind the camera, even on post-production days to make sure that things turn out the way that we want and to make sure that all the spots have a great feeling about them. I’ve loved working with Hertz. They’ve got a great leadership team. It’s just been really fun these last 18 months working together and seeing all these things come to life. We’ve got a lot more fun things ahead.
We’re all back on the move now, post-COVID, and people are on the move traveling more and people are going to be looking ofr their rentals. I love that Hertz has a new fleet of Shelby Mustangs as part of their [Electric Vehicle] lines. It’s a very cool company that was very proactive in being the industry leader in EVs. I love that whole aspect of their business.
Did you get a chance to take a Shelby Mustang out for a spin?
I had one on set when we were filming about two months ago and I have not seen them since, so I’m a little frustrated by that. No, I’m just kidding. It’s a super cool car. I have to get in on it, but I don’t think they are out for another couple of months. I know car enthusiasts are really going to love being able to drive them because they are incredible cars. I love the look and for people who love cars — they call them petrol heads or something like that — they are going to love these Shelby Mustangs.
You debuted with Hertz as part of their new line of EVs with the Teslas. I know sustainability and being green is very important in your household. Aside from driving a Tesla, what other ways do you practice being green in your life?
For us, it’s trying to incorporate daily choices in terms of food habits, recycling as well and conscious choices about travel. We have now multiple EVs in our house. We try to be very efficient. We built homes to be very environmentally conscious with our energy consumption. A lot of it is just an accumulation of daily choices. My wife’s done so much for the environment and planted millions of trees, and she’s been involved in so many groups and practices that help bring awareness and consciousness to our daily activities. She’s a real pioneer in our family and has taught me a lot over the years. I’ve been kind of focused on things with my blinders on, and she’s opened my eyes to a lot of things in life. She’s someone who has an incredible commitment to the planet, and as a nurturer and a mom, she wants to leave the world a great place for her kids.
Driving is also the focus on your first major Hollywood film that you produced, 80 for Brady. Can you talk about developing that project and what it signals about your Hollywood ambitions?
There’s a lot to that. Working with my agent at WME, Jason Hodes, has really opened my eyes to the different possibilities in media, and we’ve worked on several projects now. This was our first feature film, and I was offscreen more than onscreen. I had done a few things with Religion of Sports when I partnered with Facebook to do Tom vs Time. Then I partnered with ESPN to do Man in the Arena. I loved being on camera for those, and I was a producer on those as well, but this was the first major motion picture that I produced.
An agent, Max, who works with Jason, brought the script to him and Jason called me after he read it to say, “Look, I have this amazing script. It’s a great story and I think it has a lot of potential.” We went through several rewrites and it got to an amazing woman, Donna Gigliotti, a great producer. She brought on Kyle [Marvin]our director. We found the most amazing actresses, Lily, Jane, Rita and Sally. They brought it all to life. At the end of the day, watching them act and watching them perform was so cool. I got to bring a few of my teammates on set with me, guys that are super important to me in my life. We had two days when I was on set filming. It felt like a locker room, you know, we just really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see it how it comes. It’s a fun story with twists and turns to it and I think it will be a lot of fun for people to see the final product.
Now that you’ve got one under your belt, is there more producing in the future?
Yeah, definitely. I definitely see that as a part of my future and being involved in media and producing different projects and helping bring them to life. I’ve always loved being able to tell these stories, and I’ve told ’em personally, I’ve been a part of a lot of ’em I’ve been on camera for a lot of ’em, and off camera. I like to be involved. I don’t know what the future holds for that, but at the same time I know that I have a very proactive group of people that are working hard to bring great things to life.
You mentioned football at the start of the call. Now that you’re back, what’s new or different in terms of your approach for this season?
Over the years, I’ve tried to just be more efficient with what I’m doing because I don’t have as much time to train as I used to. When I do train, it has to be super-efficient with what I need to do in order to make the most of the day. Keeping my body in shape is super important, but that has been my lifestyle for a while now, so I don’t feel that I have to switch to anything else. It’s just a part of what I do.
With my strength work, I try to keep my body super pliable. I try to stay super hydrated and keep my inflammation rates low in my body. Then I have to throw the football and be good at that with my teammates. So I spend time with my teammates to make sure I’m on the same page with them, and that’s what my summer is going to be like for the next six weeks.
You have to stay tuned on that, but there are a few challenges that I’ve set out that I have to meet. A few guys challenged me online to some photos, so I gotta come through on that. So, we’ll see, we’ll see. I love the way people have embraced it. Things are off to an amazing start [with the brand]and I just want to be involved in great things and really always over-deliver for people. That’s one thing that I’ve learned in football over the years through building a great team and seeing things through is that you have to over-deliver. I want people to think of me as someone who is always coming through for them. When people make a commitment to me, I always want to come through and over-deliver. Whether that’s an underwear line or a feature film, it has the same amount of credibility and weight in my eyes.
A version of this story first appeared in the June 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.