Tom Brady was still playing defense on his future plans just hours before he announced his retirement from the NFL. The superstar quarterback told Variety at Tuesday’s “80 for Brady” premiere that he had not yet made a decision on whether he would return to the gridiron later this year or join Fox Sports in the broadcast booth.
“When should I made the decision?” Brady playfully asked when I pressed him on the red carpet at the “80 for Brady” premiere at Regency Village Westwood Theatre. “These things take time. We’ve got to marinate it a bit.”
But on Wednesday morning, Brady announced he was retiring “for good.”
“I’m retiring – for good,” he said in a video posted Wednesday morning. “I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning I figured I’d just press record and let you guys know first.”
The will-he-won’t-he question has surrounded the 45-year-old Brady for the past few years as he defied the odds and remained a top player in the NFL long past his 40th birthday. Last year, Brady signed a massive, 10-year, $350 million contract to work as an NFL commentator for Fox Sports. But he surprised the industry and the NFL when he decided to stick with football for a 23rd season, completing his second year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After the NFL star’s appearance in “80 for Brady,” the cast and creatives of the movie said he could have a career in acting if he wanted one. In the movie, Brady plays himself as Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Rita Moreno and Sally Field play his fans who are determined to snag tickets to see him play in the 2017 Super Bowl.
When asked if he plans to act more in the future, Brady said, “I would like that. I had fun.”
“He’s like Gary Cooper. He’s like Jimmy Stewart,” Tomlin told me. “He’s like all those old-timers. He’s got that kind of appeal.”
Director Kyle Marvin said, “He was great. I think the hardest thing about acting is pressure, dealing with the pressure of showing up and having all these people around you. He has really good experience with pressure. Something that would be daunting to all of us, he’s like, ‘Let’s go. That’s fine.'”
Marvin added that Brady took direction like a pro. “I said, ‘Stare at Lily Tomlin and say your lines. If you do that you’re going to feel something,'” he said. “And he did it and it worked!'”