Bridget Moynahan: What you don't know about Tom Brady’s ex

Bridget Moynahan, born Kathryn Bridget Moynahan, is a force to be reckoned with. She started her career as a model, gracing the covers of major magazines like Glamour and Vogue. Before long, she had transitioned from magazine covers to the silver screen, landing roles in films like Coyote Ugly, I, Robot, and Lord of War. She has also hit the small screen, appearing on Sex and the City, and the drama Blue Bloods, among others.

Moynahan's personal life has long been a source of gossip, with her past relationship with Tom Brady (who is the father of her child) sometimes overshadowing her career, but her real life and career go far beyond tabloid headlines. Here's what you don't know about Bridget Moynahan.

She's traditional and never dreamed she'd be a single mom

Football star Tom Brady and Moynahan were in a relationship for three years before splitting in 2006. Brady had already moved on to his now-wife, Gisele Bündchen, when Moynahan revealed she was pregnant. The prospect of being a single mother was a terrifying one, Moynahan told Harper's Bazaar. "I'm not sure anyone — and I could be wrong in this — grows up thinking, I want to be a single mom," she said.

Still recovering from her recent heartbreak, Moynahan found her "whole life upside down and inside out." Telling her family was another daunting task. "When you're suddenly pregnant and no one is standing by your side … it's a hard conversation," she said. "I'm a traditional girl, and I believe in marriage, and I just always thought that's the way I'd be doing this. … It was hard for me to accept that this was the way I was going to have a family. "

Moynahan had nothing to worry about. Her friends and family backed her up, especially Will Smith, her co-star in I, Robot. "He picked up that phone faster than anybody to make sure I was okay when things were getting hectic," she said.

She's the mother she "used to dread"

It didn't take long for Moynahan to adjust to being a mother. She relished her pregnancy. "Being pregnant just felt so good," she told Harper's Bazaar. "I was creating life on a daily basis, I felt beautiful, I felt sexy."

The proud mother admitted to being the kind of person who can't help talking about their kids. "I have become that mother I used to dread," she said. "Every time he does something, you think he's a genius."

The actress spoke to Parade about the challenges of balancing motherhood with a social life. "I'd rather spend time with my son than anyone in the world," she said. "But I think it's also important to take care of yourself. Make time to see your girlfriends or get to the gym. If you're only working or only spending time with your family, you're out of balance. You have to make you a priority."

She thinks Will Smith should run for public office

Bridget Moynahan has nothing but good things to say about her I, Robot co-star, Will Smith. When asked by Future Movies in 2004 if she thought her leading man should run for president, Moynahan laughed at first saying "I think about anybody should at this point."

She does think her friend and fellow actor has some serious leadership skills, though. "He impressed me so much in the running of his life, business, his commitment to his family and friends," she said. "So he is a role model and there are not many of them around. To have someone like him as a politician would not only be great — but unusual."

She'd "rather be 45 than 25"

Some people age gracefully. For others, like Moynahan, age isn't even a factor. "I really don't pay attention to age," she told Parade in 2017, after being asked whether she viewed her 45th birthday as a milestone.

"I got married last year, I look good and I'm having a lot of fun, so I don't really know when age matters," she said. The actress went on to say that she'd "rather be 45 than 25."

"I feel better now!" she said. "I just saw a quote that said: 'Things I used to trip over, I walk over now.' I think of things that really bothered me at 20, it's like, 'Why did I waste so much energy on that?'"

Moynahan says she has her mother, who "is Grace Kelly beautiful" to thank for her youthful looks. She also eats healthy, avoiding junk food. "Also, I don't smoke, and I drink a lot of water," she added. "I have one cup of coffee or tea, maybe two, and then the rest is water."

She has a hidden talent

Eating healthy doesn't mean shunning your favorite foods. While Moynahan avoids junk food, she does love anything "salty, and buttery and creamy,"  she told the Los Angeles Times. Luckily, she can easily satiate those cravings anytime she wants as she has a knack for making homemade treats.

The key is to "have balance," said Moynahan, who learned to cook from her mother. Moynahan turned her love for food into another career as an author. She wrote The Blue Bloods Cookbook, which was heavily influenced by recipes from her mother. "I used some of my mom's hand-written recipe cards and realized that with my own family I have kept up many of her traditions," she said. "Conversations in the kitchen with family or friends while we're cooking a meal together can be very special."

She's a tomboy for life

A tomboy growing up, Moynahan still lives a very active lifestyle. "I grew up playing sports and I was on teams my whole life," she told WebMD. "I was also active during the summers in tennis camps and basketball camps. I've just always been active; it's been part of my lifestyle my entire life. There was never a moment that I wasn't working out. I think it's been instilled from my childhood."

This is how she navigates tabloid fodder

Life as a celebrity can be difficult, especially when your private life becomes tabloid fodder. "My personal life has been so public, which is an oxymoron," Moynahan told Self. She said that in all situations, she tries to "find the positive," which is her mantra. "It's amazing how easy it is for everyone to talk about the negatives," she said. "The negative drama is just going to bring you down. You just have to rise above and take the high road and focus on the most important and positive aspect of the situation. There's always a positive part. It's life."

In order to keep her spirits up, she put up a "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster in her house, saying "it's really important to me to have a healthy state of mind and a healthy environment that's happy and nurturing."

She feels at home in Ireland

Bridget Moynahan comes from an Irish-American family, which heavily influenced her upbringing. She told Irish America that growing up, her family "watched a lot of news and news shows like 60 Minutes."

"In Ireland you go out with your friends and you talk and you talk and you really beat it out, which is not something that's common in American culture," she said. " But definitely in my family we do. When a subject comes up, we are talking about it for hours."

Although she grew up in America, she feels right at home in Ireland, where she has extended family. "I like rain, I like cloudy days," she said. "I always found that driving around Ireland, you could be in the middle of a rain shower and up the road would be pure sunshine and rainbows. It's beautiful."

She "can't relate" to ditzy characters

Moynahan has played strong characters throughout her career. "I tend to gravitate towards material where the women are strong," she told Irish America. "It's got a bit more depth to it, there's a bit more intelligence to the character. I think in a lot of the romantic comedies the women are portrayed as being kind of ditzy, and I just can't relate to it. So I think it is harder for me to pursue those parts," she said.

This is what she does to unwind

Moynahan has both beauty and brains. In those brief moments she gets to relax, she likes to use that time to read. "I really enjoy escaping into a book," she told WebMD. "But it's hard to find that time." Her favorite books are fiction. Among her top picks are Jonathan Tropper's This is Where I Leave You, and the works of Philip Roth.

Her love of reading has inspired some of her philanthropy work. Moynahan is on the National Board of Directors for Jumpstart, a program which "provides language, literacy, and social-emotional programming for preschool children from under-resourced communities and promotes quality early learning for all."

Her parents wanted her to go to business school

Bridget Moynahan started modeling after graduating from high school, but she could have entered the business long before that. "Apparently, my mother said I was approached [to model] my entire life, but I was never aware of that," she told the magazine Women of Upstate New York. Far from being a child star, Moynahan had to convince her parents, who wanted her to go to business school, into letting her try to make it as a model and an actress.

Moynahan's determination to make it in the industry paid off, and she was able to parlay her success as a model into an even more successful acting career. "What I'm always so grateful for is that I've had the opportunities," she said. "It's a tricky business, and I think modeling gave me somewhat of an open door. … So I felt fortunate that I was able to have that opportunity, and that Hollywood in general kind of welcomed me."