While Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, and Rita Moreno are no strangers to the adoration of millions of fans, they return that adoration tenfold – to none other than seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.
The greatest quarterback in NFL history announced his retirement last week after his Tampa Bay Buccaneers were ousted by the Dallas Cowboys. Brady also had a challenging 2022 with his divorce from Brazilian fashion model Giselle Bündchen headlining the headlines.
80 for Brady is a brash, big-hearted comedy touches down that proves it’s never too late to have the wildest time of your life. The film is set against an American rite of passage—the time-honored tradition of friends and family heading to the Super Bowl city aiming to make lasting memories.
But you’re about to meet perhaps the least likely, most hilariously fun, quartet to fulfill this iconic football fantasy. Inspired by a true friendship, this is the whimsically comical, yet genuinely emotional, tale of four women who set out to pay homage to quarterback Tom Brady’s refusal to ever give up—only to have to tap into that same spirit on the craziest trip of their long and amazing journey together.
Four true legends of the screen join forces as gutsy ringleader Lou (Lily Tomlin), glam, feisty Trish (Jane Fonda), adventurous, tireless Maura (Rita Moreno), and smart, down-to-earth Betty (Sally Field). These decades-long BFFs have been watching football together for years—complete with their own superstitions, rituals, and jerseys.
Still, the ultimate dream of attending the Super Bowl has never seemed within reach—more so now that most of them are over 80. So, when tickets unexpectedly come their way, the foursome toss caution to the wind, heading into misadventures no one saw coming, from hot wings to hot guys, from mischief to mayhem…even before momentous Super Bowl LI begins.
AARP The Magazine (ATM) caught up with the four friends who are credited with multiple Academy Awards, Tonys, Emmys, Grammys, and even an EGOT between them to discuss their upcoming sports comedy 80 For Brady, which hit theaters on February 3, 2023.
Reflecting on their incredibly successful and decorated careers, the stars discuss what their legions of fans mean to them – and the joys of being fangirls themselves.
For decades, Tomlin, Fonda, Field, and Moreno have brought joy to the big screen while rooting for each other. The famous friends and co-stars dive into their timeless friendship, the responsibility they feel to their fans, getting starstruck by other celebrities, and how getting older doesn’t mean having less fun.
The following are excerpts from ATM’s February/March 2023 cover story featuring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, and Rita Moreno.
The friends and co-stars first got giddy and fangirled over Brady:
Rita Moreno: “Oh, he’s remarkable in his work, just remarkable.”
Jane Fonda: “He’s at the top of his game and the best in his field, and beyond that, he’s gorgeous, kind and sweet.”
Sally Field: “Your jaw drops at the skill level.”
Lily Tomlin: “He’s like a great, big, beautiful, perfect 20-year-old that you’d want to be your son.”
Then Field talked about her love of sports:
“I’m a longtime sports fan and I think the world underestimates the huge audience that older women represent.”
“Now that we have a football team again in Los Angeles with the Rams, I’m back to being a big fan. But it’s not just football for me. What pro basketball and baseball did during the pandemic by going into a bubble so they could play, and give fans that outlet – I mean, it saved me. I feel so grateful to them for that.”
Jane Fonda reflected on her mentor Dolly Parton teaching her the importance of fans:
“We all did 9 to 5, I watched how she interacted, how she listened, how she truly cared and how grateful she was, and I thought, oh, my gosh, Dolly’s right. Our careers depend on our fans! That changed me forever.”
Rita Moreno touched on meeting her fans and riding public transportation:
“I’m so thankful to fans, and I love seeing someone’s eyes gleaming because they recognize me. Listen, recently I was on a bus in New York City and two young men said, “Hey, you look like Rita Moreno.” I said, “Yeah, I am.” They said, “Come on! Are you kidding us?” I said, “I am who you say I am.” I swear, they wouldn’t believe me. Get this: I finally had to pull out my driver’s license!”
Jane Fonda talked about getting starstruck with Muhammad Ali when asking for an autograph:
“Autographs? The one time I asked for one was when I ran into Muhammad Ali in the airport. My knees almost gave way in front of him, I was so excited. And I’d already won two Academy Awards!”
Lily Tomlin then spoke about her experience meeting Lucille Ball after reading her review about her:
“In my 30s, I saw an article in a magazine where she reviewed newer comics. When she got to Lily Tomlin, she wrote “I just don’t get her.” I could have wept. Some years later, a friend arranged a dinner with Lucy. I was terrified but it turned out OK.”
Field then shared her opinion on carrying enthusiasm into your 70s and beyond:
“You’re never too old for the next chapter unless you decide to give up.”
Tom Brady then chimed in with his cast and talked about what retirement means to him:
“Not only are they great actresses but they’re spectacular people and were so sweet and welcoming to me on set. To have these icons together in a movie like this, it really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and, obviously, so humbling.”
“‘Retirement’ is a scary word. I mean, you’re not retiring from life. So, when I am done with football, I believe I have many chapters to write. You’ve got to keep your mind busy. You’ve got to keep your body active. You’ve got to keep your spirit alive.”
80 For Brady is a perspective-shifting twist on the “girls just want to have fun” comedy, also bringing in elements of the epic party movie and rollicking buddy movie. But it’s all filtered through something distinctive: the insistently upbeat mood that Tomlin, Fonda, Moreno, and Field set, a mood of living it up no matter what tries to bring you down, a tonic of fun-loving humanity for our times.
The issue is available in homes starting in February and online.
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