Marshawn Lynch in "80 For Brady." Marshawn Lynch in “80 For Brady.” (Spotern.)

One of the many interesting things about 80 for Brady was the cameos it pulled in. Well beyond just Brady (who was an executive producer on the movie in addition to his on-camera role), it featured past New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, and Danny Amendola, and it featured celebrities including Food Network star Guy Fieri and NFL star turned Prime Video Thursday Night Football contributor Marshawn Lynch. Variety recently ran a piece from Derek Lawrence talking to director Kyle Marvin (this was his feature film directorial debut), and it has some notable quotes on those cameos. As ESPN’s Mina Kimes noted, the one on Lynch, and the friendship he struck up with co-star Rita Moreno, perhaps particularly stands out:

The “I’ll do that movie next” is interesting, as it certainly feels like there might be some more screen time ahead for Lynch beyond just NFL broadcasts. Lynch’s ‘N Yo City features have been a notable part of those TNF broadcasts, and he’s been a memorable guest on Cold As Balls, the ManningCast, and even traditional ESPN game broadcasts (although both of those have come with some profanity, so Lynch may not be the target for G-rated movie stardom). He also appeared in HBO’s Westworld back in 2020, and on Netflix’s Murderville and the Roku Channel’s The Great American Baking Show in 2022. Lynch has plenty of other things on the go, including ownership stakes in Fan Controlled Football and Indoor Football League teams and various other business intersets, but it’s definitely interesting to hear a director talk about how great he was on the set and how he wants to do more with him.

The other particularly standout part of Marvin’s comments in that piece is about Fieri. One of the many memorable scenes in the movie has the retirees accidentally eat high-dosage gummies before looking for Fieri at a party, which leads to Moreno’s character Maura appearing at the aforementioned poker game that includes celebrities Lynch, Fieri, Retta, Patton Oswalt, and Billy Porter. And at one point there, Maura hallucinates that they’re all Fieri, and that she’s Fieri as well. Marvin has a great line to Lawrence about how that happened, how they convinced Fieri to do it, and how they shot it:

Guy Fieri does a pregame tailgate thing at every Super Bowl. And so we started sprinkling Guy into the movie and then the joke just got funnier and funnier, so we kept doubling down. We wrote that Betty thinks they’re all Guy Fieris looking back at her, and we had this surreal experience of FaceTiming him while he was on a boat in Florida, and he’s like, “Guys, this is batshit crazy — **** it, I’ll do it.”

The VFX stuff was a little tricky because we didn’t have the budget to do big special effects, so we did it pretty practically. We had to re-create that poker scene on a green screen to get Guy in every position and then Rita gave us a bunch of different takes of “I’m Guy Fieri.” It’s not an easy shot, because she comes in, steps forwards and then turns, and we have to dolly over at shallow focus. It was one of those moments on set where everyone’s holding their breath because the delivery was so funny and the camera worked in tangent with it.

That does seem like a very Fieri comment. And it led to an extremely funny scene, even with the challenges in shooting it. Here’s a bit more on it from a Paramount featurette:

Meanwhile, Marvin also relays that Brady needed a bit of coaching himself, but came through with help from co-star Lily Tomlin (who has herself called him “a very natural actor” and “a darling guy”):

Tom was a bit of a bigger lift. He did say to me, “I respond to coaching, and in this moment, you need to coach me.” And so we had some conversations about how best to approach a scene, how I do it as an actor, and how to get in there and explore what we needed to. You can easily get overwhelmed with his power and how iconic he is, and the truth is that I had to take that away and just be two people trying to get the best thing out of this moment and treat him as a peer trying to make a movie.

Tom and Lily was a pretty amazing experience. It’s not an easy thing to do a conversation or speech like that. And we had talked and he had done some things to get himself ready, but nothing really prepares you for having to dig in real-time to a scene like that and commit to it. And I said, “Just look Lily Tomlin in the eyes and deliver those things you’re saying straight to her — and feel it.” And Lily is so good at giving, at emoting, and being part of the scene, he just locked eyes on her and started going, and I’m really proud of him for the work he did.

The whole Variety piece here is well worth a read. And 80 For Brady, now streaming on Paramount+, is worth a watch. Maybe unless you’re a Steelers fan.

[Variety; photo from Spotern]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.