How Netflix’s Living With Yourself Landed That Major Sportsball Cameo

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Warning: Mild spoilers for Living With Yourself are ahead.
Tom Brady only spends a few seconds onscreen in Netflix's Living With Yourself, but it took four and a half years, two Super Bowl wins, and a Patriots controversy to get him there.
Living With Yourself starts with a down in the dumps Miles (Paul Rudd) deciding he needs an upgrade. With his home and work lives in total disarray, Miles takes his newly revitalized office nemesis' suggestion and heads to a magical spa where $50,000 is supposed to help him become the best possible version of himself. When Miles pulls up to the Top Happy Spa he begins to question his decision. But before Miles can talk himself out of it, Brady — the Tom Brady — walks out of the strip mall spa looking as if he's been reborn. "First time?" the Patriots quarterback asks Miles with a big smile. "Uh-huh," a shocked Miles says. "You?" As Brady gets into his SUV, he gives a mischievous grin before revealing a secret. "Six."
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Creator and writer Timothy Greenberg's original draft of the Paul Rudd vs. Paul Rudd comedy about cloning gone wrong didn't actually include the Brady scene. It wasn't until he spoke with Charlie Kaufman, the writer of Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind, early on in the process of making the show, that he got the idea to have Brady poke fun at his incredible genes.
"We were talking about why Miles would do this, why would he agree to hand over $50,000," Greenberg tells Refinery29 over the phone. "[Kaufman] had the idea, 'Maybe he sees these sports stars on the wall.'" Kaufman's suggestion of which athlete Miles would see, still makes Greenberg laugh. "He’s like, 'I don’t know, Babe Ruth.' Like really, Charlie? Are you such an intellectual that you can’t think of any sportsperson from the last 80 years?"
Luckily, Greenberg, could and once he had written Brady into the script, executive producer Jeff Stern reached out to the football star's agent and his publicist. Brady was interested, but it was football season. "So, we were waiting and waiting and waiting for the Patriots to finish their run and then, sure enough, they won again," Greenberg, a "long-suffering" Jets fans, says of the Patriots 2019 Super Bowl win.
During this waiting period, news also broke that had them convinced they were going to lose Brady. In 2018, Patriots owner Robert Kraft was charged with soliciting a sex worker at a day spa in a strip mall "that looked almost exactly like what we were shooting. Like, I would have used it as a reference photo," Greenberg admits. "So we’re like, 'Alright, this is clearly not going to happen now."
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In the end, it did. After the Patriots won, Greenberg, Rudd, and the crew headed up to Boston to shoot the cameo in a parking lot. "Paul and I were talking football with him for a good hour," Greenberg says. "It was really super cool and again, I’m a Jets fan so I had mixed feelings, but he’s also the greatest quarterback of all time."
Greenberg still doesn't know why the GOAT agreed to do his show and he's fine with never knowing. "I’m writing something else now that’s about somebody getting trapped in a world where suddenly things are going too well and this was like that," Greenberg says about getting Brady. "Like, really, something is wrong here. This can’t be real."
Another sign of Greenberg's good luck? Somehow, like Brady, that joke he wrote four and a half years ago has only gotten better with time. "When I wrote the script, I was like, 'Here’s a guy that seems ageless and he’s still performing so well because he’s 37 years old and he just won his fourth Super Bowl,'" Greenberg says. "Four years later, the guy is now 41 and he’s won six Super Bowls. He just won another Super Bowl!"
It's almost as if Brady only became more perfect for the part after Greenberg wrote it, which has the writer throwing out some conspiracy theories. "Maybe he did it," Greenberg jokes. "Maybe, he really is a clone."
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