The Untold Truth Of Bridget Moynahan

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Bridget Moynahan might be best known for playing Natasha Naginsky in HBO's hit "Sex and the City" and its spinoff "And Just Like That..." You surely know her as the rival to Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) in an ongoing love triangle with Mr. Big (Chris Noth). Or perhaps as one of the dancing bartenders in 2000's "Coyote Ugly." Or as a D.A. on long-running primetime drama "Blue Bloods." Or hey, there is a solid chance you know her from all of the above. 

However, long before Moynahan became a model slash actor who eventually found herself at the center of some high-profile relationship drama, she had totally different aspirations. As she told CBS Watch!, "I thought I was going to be a dentist!" In a separate interview with Parade, she got into what drew her to that particular line of work: "I was really into brushing and flossing. Very random, I know." While her dental dreams did not come to fruition, it seems safe to say the path she ended up taking worked out rather well for her. 

So you know about her filmography and about her former relationship with one of the greatest football players of all time, but there is a great deal more to Bridget Moynahan's story. Get your toothpaste because we are about to brush up on the actor's untold truth. 

She grew up as a tomboy

Bridget Moynahan hails from Binghamton, in upstate New York where she grew up with two brothers. Her family ended up moving to Massachusetts, when her father took a job at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, according to People, when Moynahan was still young. Throughout her childhood, her mother enrolled Moynahan in ballet, which wasn't a fit. "Hated the tights, hated the tutu and had my mother take me to the soccer field," she told the outlet. The girly life wasn't for her. 

While ballet wasn't her jam, it seems like every other type of sport was right up Moynahan's alley, something her parents really supported. "I grew up playing sports and I was on teams my whole life," she told WebMD in December 2010. "I've just always been active; it's been part of my lifestyle my entire life. ... I think it's been instilled from my childhood."

Moynahan carried this athleticism with her into adulthood and admitted to People how much she loves playing basketball, but it was something she had to stop doing. "Once they know you can play, they start treating you like a guy and it gets a little rough," she admitted. "It's not good to show up on auditions with a black eye." Fair enough.

Her breakthrough came through modeling

Bridget Moynahan's breakthrough came through modeling rather than acting but she never aspired to either. As previously noted, Moynahan wanted to be a dentist. Per People, that all changed right after high school graduation when she just so happened to tag along with a friend to a modeling program. This may not be totally surprising considering the fact that Moynahan is 5'9" and stunning, but her career took off from there. 

Per CBS Watch!, Moynahan's life as a model continued to gain speed, as she graced the covers of French Vogue, Glamour, and Elle. She also got the chance to live in Paris, a nice overlap with her "Sex and the City" character. (She did meet Mr. Big in Paris, after all.) And for Moynahan, the experience was a blast. "I hear a lot of models who are like, 'I was the ugly duckling,'" she told People. "I didn't go through that. I had the best time."

Moynahan's modeling career also led to several commercial gigs which later made the transition into acting that much easier. She also admitted that while the money was amazing, modeling became a dead end for her. "[Y]ou reach a point where you need something more," she said in People. It was time to get on screen.

Sex and the City changed everything

Bridget Moynahan made the jump from the modeling world to the small screen when she joined the cast of "Sex and the City" in Season 2. "I remember going on the set and thinking, 'Oh my God, I have no idea what I'm doing,'" she confessed on "The Drew Barrymore Show." She also joked that she was afraid she'd get the boot.

When she read for the part, however, she was not given much scene to work with. "I remember there was only one line to the audition," Moynahan shared on "Live with Kelly and Ryan." "The line was, 'Nice to meet you.'" What's more, she was not given any context for the character — or even the show — whatsoever. Needless to say, she nailed that single line, and the role of Natasha became one of the most important supporting characters in the series. 

While Moynahan was intimidated by the epic scale of the HBO hit, she told Women of Upstate New York that her fellow cast members — including Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristen Davis, and Cynthia Nixon — were wonderful. Unsurprisingly, she was happy to revisit the role for "And Just Like That..." As she told Barrymore, "I was thrilled to get that phone call."  

She co-wrote a Blue Bloods cookbook

"Sex and the City" isn't the only major television series on Bridget Moynahan's resume. Since 2010, she's played district attorney Erin Reagan on the hit cop drama "Blue Bloods." "The show feels like family now," Moynahan said in CBS Watch! in 2019. After all these years, it's understandable she feels a strong connection to both the series and the character. 

While Moynahan and Erin may not have everything in common ("I'm a lot shier," she told the outlet), they do share a profound love of food and cooking and hosting family dinners. This inspired "The Blue Bloods Cookbook," a cookbook created by Moynahan and author Wendy Howard Goldberg, wife to the show's producer, Leonard Goldberg. The cookbook, which was released in 2015, is loaded with classic dishes, as well as some personal touches. As Moynahan told the Los Angeles Times, "While I was gathering ideas for this cookbook, 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."

In the introduction to the cookbook, Wendy Howard Goldberg explained, "My husband ... developed the family dinner scene as a hallmark, a recurring scene that would tie every episode together." Moynahan, for her part, touched on how filming one dinner scene after another year after year revved her appetite for real cooking. As she put it, "That's a lot of food faking!" The time for faking was done with the launch of such an appetizing cookbook.

The beginning and end of her relationship with Tom Brady

Bridget Moynahan and Tom Brady started dating in 2004 after a friend set them up. That same year, Moynahan told Irish America that they happened to connect over their Irish heritage. What they didn't have in common was football. "Honestly, Tom walked into the one family that didn't know anything about football or anything about him," Moynahan told the outlet. "So that's been taking up a lot of time, learning that whole profootball culture."

In 2006, Brady and Moynahan announced their split and he moved on with supermodel Gisele Bündchen. Weeks into his new relationship, Moynahan discovered that she was pregnant with Brady's child. In 2020, Brady opened up about the unusual situation on "The Howard Stern Show" (via The Blast). Acknowledging how complicated the situation was for everyone involved, he said, "It was very hard for my wife to think she fell in love with this guy, and now this guy's ex-girlfriend's pregnant. And it was very challenging for my son's mom because she didn't envision that either." As tricky as it was for the adults at the time, Brady and Moynahan figured things out for the sake of their son. "My heart explodes when I think of him," the NFL star said. "He's the greatest kid you could ever ask for."

How shoes and a book helped her cope after the split

Bridget Moynahan had a tumultuous experience following her split from Tom Brady and the birth of their child, Jack. To illustrate the challenges she went through, Moynahan wrote a book called "Our Shoes, Our Selves" and incorporated essays from other women who had powerful experiences symbolized through shoes.

"Having a baby should have been the most joyous time of my life, but instead I felt assaulted," Moynahan wrote. "It's unnerving to be followed and stalked like that, especially during such an emotionally vulnerable time." While money can't solve everything, sometimes a little retail therapy can do a person good — and the actor found some comfort in a pair of black Miu Miu boots. "I decided that these boots would give me back some of the confidence and strength that I had lost," she wrote. In addition to dealing with her personal life drama being thrust into the spotlight, she shared that her postpartum body was subject to scrutiny. 

While Moynahan and Brady couldn't make it work romantically, it sure seems like they've left the past in the past. For starters, Moynahan has always been positive about Brady's career in the NFL. And as for the behind the scenes? It sure seems like they keep it nice. Per Hollywood Life, when Brady's emails were released in the wake of the Deflategate debacle, some of the messages happened to be very sweet correspondence between Brady and Moynahan about Jack. Awww.

How she stays in shape

Bridget Moynahan has kept up a consistent and impressive workout routine thanks to a lifelong dedication to exercise. "I like to stay active. I run, play tennis and ride my bike all over New York City," Moynahan told the Los Angeles Times in 2015. "For my core I do Pilates. I have tried yoga, but my joints are incredibly loose so it's too easy for me to get injured doing it. Growing up I played sports year-round." Moynahan added that her son, Jack, keeps her busy too and since he loves sports, she's doubly active. "We ride bikes together and play soccer, tennis and baseball — though my throwing skills have not improved with age," she joked.

Staying healthy has always been important to Moynahan and after having her son, she accepted the ways that pregnancy and birth changed her body. She told WebMD in 2010, "I have never been stronger and I've never been more fit."

Charmingly though, Moynahan admitted to the Los Angeles Times that she's still a foodie. When asked what her favorite foods are, she admitted that cheese and chips make the tops of the list. "I love salty, and buttery and creamy," she said. "But, like anything else in life, you have to have balance." Moynahan said that she's got really into produce thanks to her involvement with community agriculture and she loves serving fruits and vegetables.

She found love again

While her relationship with Tom Brady made a lot of headlines, Bridget Moynahan found her lasting love with husband Andrew Frankel. Unlike Moynahan and her past beaus, Frankel is not a public figure. Rather, he makes a living as the co-president of his family's New York-based brokerage. As she told Glamour, "What I learned was sometimes you have to fish in another pond, as the saying goes."

Per People, the two married in 2015 at the Wölffer Estate Vineyards in Sagaponack, New York. Moynahan's dress was designed by stylist Basia Zamorska and she wore a white fur stole. Moynahan shared a photo of the big day on Instagram with the cheeky caption, "Oh, by the way, guess what I just did." Clearly, Moynahan likes to keep her cards close to her chest when it comes to sharing upcoming events about her life.

Before she married Frankel, Moynahan spoke with More (via Us Weekly) about how important it is that she maintain a healthy dynamic with her ex and his wife; her kid's well-being has always been the top priority. "I have a relationship with [Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen] on a daily basis. ... My son has two loving parents and an extended family, whether it's cousins or stepmothers or boyfriends," she said. "My son is surrounded by love." 

Her charitable side

Bridget Moynahan is all about supporting good causes. In 2014, she agreed to spend only $1.50 a day on food for one week to bring attention to poverty and world hunger. In an interview with AOL from that year, Moynahan discussed her work with Live Below the Line Campaign. She couldn't accept a bottle of water from the interviewer because it would conflict with the message of the campaign. "I'm drinking tap water," Moynahan explained, noting she was making sure her food and drink intake didn't exceed her budget. "The goal ultimately — big picture — is to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, that's the goal. But on a daily basis right now, if people could participate and just start getting a little bit more conscious," she said, acknowledging how wasteful she had been with food prior to embarking on the challenge.

But that's not the only endeavor of Moynahan's. In 2017, she told Parade that she was on the board of two organizations: a literacy initiative called JumpStart and Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. The latter nonprofit provides the summer camp experience for kids who are diagnosed with serious illnesses and their families. For kids who are too sick to travel, the organization's staffers bring camp activities to them.  

She's a big fan of her co-stars

Bridget Moynahan goes way back with the "Sex and the City" gals, and while she's Carrie Bradshaw's arch nemesis on the show, in real life they've got a much more amicable thing going on. For the reboot "And Just Like That...," Moynahan had a funny scene with Sarah Jessica Parker where the latter walked in on her in the bathroom. Oddly, through that vulnerable moment, the two characters resolve years of tension between Carrie and Natasha.

"[I]t was definitely out of my comfort zone from what I've been doing, but so exciting to be able to do something more playful and comedic," Moynahan told Marie Claire. "It's such a joy to be able to watch and work with Sarah Jessica Parker, who is such a pro and so talented, and just watching her make her adjustments and her natural talent come through, it's so wonderful."

As for her non-"SATC" colleagues? When chatting with AOL, Moynahan described her "Blue Bloods" dad Tom Selleck as a "gentleman" and "paternal." She also sang Donnie Wahlberg's praises. When the interviewer asked Moynahan about her experience of sharing the screen with Ben Affleck in "The Sum of All Fears," Moynahan said, "I have worked with the best guys in the business. Talented, handsome, just the greatest guys." She also enjoyed getting to act opposite Keanu Reeves on "John Wick." "He's very private and very quiet," she shared. "I've always heard that about him." 

Bridget Moynahan's impressive net worth

Bridget Moynahan isn't one to back away from hard work and she's got the net worth now to prove it. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Moynahan's sitting on $25 million. As the outlet notes, her "Blue Bloods" salary started at $60,000 an episode, but was later bumped up to $100,000 an episode. Get it, girl.

With all this hard work, Moynahan knows how to treat herself to the finer things too. Page Six reported in 2014 that she bought an apartment in Tribeca for $4.6 million. Clearly, New York is where it's at in Moynahan's book.

While she's had an astounding career in acting, after moving on from modeling, Moynahan remains adaptable and excited about the future. She spoke to The Bare Magazine in May 2022 about women in Hollywood over 50. "You have lots of actresses still working, people like Robin Wright directing, and Jane Campion just won an Oscar," Moynahan said. "I think there are opportunities for lead actresses, producers, writers and directors in television and film. And there's so much television now." Obviously, Moynahan is looking to the future and the myriad options ahead of her. And what's the big thing she's learned to let go of after all of this experience. "The idea that you can win them all," she said. "Rejection is part of the process, whether in modeling, acting, or directing." While she's faced some rejections, Moynahan's said yes to opportunity and we're so thankful she did.