The True Story Behind 80 For Brady (2024)

80 For Brady is a lighthearted tale of best friends both onscreen and off: It's based on a true story.

Starring Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Lily Tomlin, the film follows four best friends who embark on a trip to see Tom Brady play in the 2017 Super Bowl, the year the quarterback (who now plays for Tampa Bay) led the New England Patriots to a victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

Just like the real-life women that inspired the movie, who deemed themselves the "Over 80 for Brady" fan club, the actresses developed a close bond while filming.

"You know, I've known Lily for 50 years," Fonda told PEOPLE. "I've known Sally 40 years, and I just so admire her and watching her process of creating the character during the course of filming was really special."

Moreno added that mending their skills for 80 for Brady was "like nothing else," calling her costars "spectacularly special actresses."

From how the real-life fan club was created to how their story got turned into a Hollywood movie, here's everything to know about the true story behind 80 For Brady.

Who are the real-life women who inspired 80 For Brady?

The True Story Behind 80 For Brady (1)

The real-life "Over 80 for Brady" fan club was made up of Elaine St. Martin, Betty Pensavalle and their three other friends, Anita, Pat and Claire. In addition to being friends of over 70 years, they were also dedicated Tom Brady superfans.

Per CBS News Sunday Morning, the women really came together after they became widows; the broadcast said that "game days became the link that kept their friendship from fumbling." Each game day, they made sure to get together at each other's houses.

"One Sunday here, one Sunday at my house, and it would go right to the five of us," St. Martin recalled to CBS News Sunday Morning.

They got together so regularly, they got the nickname the "Over 80 for Brady" club, with Pensavalle's grandson even making them matching shirts.

How did their story get turned into 80 For Brady?

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So how exactly did the "Over 80 for Brady club" make it to the big screen? The women have Pensavalle's grandson, Max, to thank for that. Inspired by the women's story, Max, who worked in Hollywood, decided to pitch the idea as a movie.

In a fun twist of fate, Brady himself jumped at the opportunity to create the film. He even sent a personal message to Pensavalle, saying in a video message, "I wanna make a movie based on your Over 80 for Brady crew."

Is Tom Brady involved in 80 For Brady?

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Following his short-lived retirement in 2022, it was announced that Brady would produce 80 For Brady via his 199 Productions banner, alongside Donna Gigliotti and Endeavor Content, who also developed the film with Brady and Gigliotti.

Not only is Brady a producer for the film, but he also makes a small cameo along with his former Patriots teammates Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman. He previously told Variety his role is "small" but he "learned a lot" during his two days of filming.

"It's really interesting. I find it challenging — sometimes hard," he said of acting as a version of himself in the movie. "Because you're always paying attention to yourself as yourself rather than the character you're playing. I don't think that's natural for me. What I've done for 23 years in sports is play myself. There's no acting. It's me on the field. When I'm pissed, I'm pissed. When I'm happy, I'm happy. I'm not playing a role."

In a behind-the-scenes featurette for the movie released by Paramount Pictures, Brady noted that working with the award-winning actresses was a "once in a lifetime opportunity, adding, "They are really the GOATs [Greatest of All Time] in what they do."

"I think there are opportunities for me to tell stories that are near and dear to my heart," Brady said. "To be able to produce it with amazing actresses was very exciting for me."

During the film's premiere, Brady spoke with PEOPLE about watching the movie with his kids. "I was pretty emotional through it," he recalled. "It was a great season and having my kids watch was the best part about the whole thing."

"Man, your kids teach you so much," he added, sharing his appreciation for his children. "You get to learn through new experiences with them and they're the biggest blessing of my life."

Where are the real-life '80 For Brady' women now?

As noted by CBS News Sunday Morning, the active group now consists of St. Martin and Pensavalle, who are 95 and 94 respectively; Claire died, and Anita and Pat are living in an assisted living facility.

Even so, St. Martin and Pensavalle are still dedicated football fans. "Good friends stick together and stay together and do for each other," Pensavalle told CBS News Sunday Morning.

While the news show noted that the making of the film has been "a bit overwhelming" for them, including Brady's involvement and getting their own private premiere for the film, they still have one thing left on their bucket list: meeting Brady.

"I hope we see him before we die!" St. Martin said, to which Pensavalle quipped, "They better hurry up!"

The True Story Behind 80 For Brady (2024)


How much of 80 for Brady is factual? ›

Maybe you've even seen the whole movie — it was released in theaters on Feb. 3. Well, most of that story isn't true. While the movie is based on a true story, the actual group of senior citizens never attended the Super Bowl, according to Attleboro resident Bob Riccio.

Did the 80 for Brady ladies really meet Tom Brady? ›

The 80 for Brady real ladies never met their favorite player, Tom Brady. While the two remaining active members of the Over 80 for Brady fan club were given their own private premiere of the movie, they have yet to meet NFL superstar Tom Brady, who was preparing for a playoff game at the time of the screening.

What is the origin of 80 for Brady? ›

The film is inspired by a real-life group of Patriots fans known as the "Over 80 for Brady" club; the grandson of one member pitched the idea for a film. Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Sally Field also joined the cast.

Is set it off based on a true story? ›

While Set It Off is not a retelling of any specific true story, it is influenced by the collective experiences of many.

What happens at the end of 80 for Brady? ›

At the end of the 98-minute product-placement vehicle “80 For Brady,” the star quarterback reclines on a sandy beach with the movie's protagonists, a group of women in their 70s and 80s. They discuss retirement, and the audience braces for what will surely be a groaner.

Who are the female actresses in 80 for Brady? ›

From left, Rita Moreno, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Sally Field in “80 For Brady.” Mary Ellen Horgan, 85, also of Westwood, came to the movie with her friend Susan Hurley, 80. “I've always been a fan of football and the Patriots and enjoyed everything about it. For years!

Did the 2017 Super Bowl go into overtime? ›

In 56 Super Bowls, only one has gone into overtime before. That was in 2017 when the New England Patriots won the title in a comeback victory against the Atlanta Falcons. It was familiar territory for Kyle Shanahan.

Does Betty lose the tickets? ›

Betty realizes that she left the Super Bowl tickets in her fanny pack (which she innocently calls her “strap-on”) at the wings contest.

How long is 80 for Brady? ›

80 for Brady (2023) is 1 hr 38 min long.

What channel is 80 and Brady on? ›

Watch Paramount +: 80 For Brady | What Friendship Means Featurette | Paramount+ - Full show on Paramount Plus. 80 For Brady is an adventure in friendship.

Who has Tom Brady's baby? ›

Brady welcomed Jack in 2007 with ex-girlfriend Bridget Moynahan, shortly after they had broken up in 2006. Brady had already moved on with supermodel Gisele Bündchen, and he admitted to Howard Stern in 2020 that Moynahan's pregnancy was a shock.

Who is Giselle dating? ›

Gisele Bündchen Speaks for the Trees

According to People, Bündchen is dating professional jiu-jitsu trainer Joaquim Valente. Valente and Bündchen were friends before becoming romantically involved. In March 2024, she finally confirmed for herself that she and Valente are together.

Which team only scored three points in Super Bowl 53? ›

Share All sharing options for: C.J. Anderson explains how the Patriots held the Rams to only three points in Super Bowl 53. The Los Angeles Rams headed into Super Bowl 53 having averaged 32.4 points per game this season.

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