It’s been 18 months since we last saw new episodes of the hit series Ted Lassobut the Apple TV+ comedy is back for its third season starting March 15, and it’s ready to score its way into our hearts again.
Starring a talented cast including Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, Brett Goldstein, Juno Temple, Brendan Hunt, Jeremy Swift and Nick Mohammed, Ted Lasso follows the fictional lives of London’s AFC Richmond football club (more commonly known as soccer to Americans) as they each try to better navigate their decision-making, both on and off the pitch.
Ted Lasso it remains a true team effort in more ways than one. The scripted series won the 2022 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, won back-to-back Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Series for its first two seasons, as well as several other major awards from The series premiered in August 2020.
Arriving on our television screens at a time of the early Covid-19 pandemic, when many of us yearned for hope and human connection, Ted Lasso continues to lead with a winning sense of compassion in its strong storytelling, carefully executed development of diverse characters and its overall theme that reminds us all of ‘Believe’.
I recently sat down on Zoom with three of the Ted LassoIts gifted cast, Emmy Award-winners Sudeikis, Waddingham and Goldstein, as we discussed this highly anticipated new season.
Sudeikis not only plays Richmond’s coach and the show’s title character, he’s also a producer, writer and one of its creators Ted Lasso alongside Hunt, Bill Lawrence and Joe Kelly. I started my conversation with Sudeikis by asking him what he’s enjoyed most about this project’s complicated journey so far, from its pilot episode to now that he’s ready to unveil its third season to the world.
“I really enjoy watching the people we have on this show, like, score — just kick ass,” Sudeikis told me. “I just watched the first two episodes [of season three] last night, just to remind myself because I’m editing the next few episodes and it’s not a pain at all. I go to work every day excited to watch these people on the show. People behind the scenes, too. I see people on camera all day, every day, but I get to work [the] Position-[production] group and just watch people get interested in this thing. The fact that it turned into all of this, the way it changed all of our lives in such positive ways was my favorite thing.”
Waddingham plays Rebecca Ted Lassothe owner of Richmond, who started the series as a pretty tough boss, but as her story has progressed over the course of these three seasons, she’s gradually let her down and continues to grow beyond the insecurities of her evil intentions. the ex-husband left on her.
When I informed Waddingham that I had already had the pleasure of watching his first four episodes Ted Lasso season three, she shared with me that she doesn’t think she’s ever cared so much about people being satisfied with what they do, the cast and crew, on this show.
As Rebecca looks to set her sights on life beyond football in this third season, including her continued search for love and the possibility of a family, I wondered what Waddingham has most enjoyed watching the strong but vulnerable leading lady evolve her character.
“First of all, it’s my greatest privilege to look after her, as I see it,” Waddingham continued. “Secondly, what I love most about season three is that it’s still a bit of a hot mess (laughs). I didn’t want it to be all set and “Oh, this is the new me.” He still has something to let go of and that’s the human condition, isn’t it? I’d rather play her edges than her soft ones.”
Goldstein plays the rather grumpy (but oddly lovable) ex-Richmond football player turned coach Roy Kent. Ted Lasso. He also continues to serve as a writer and producer on the series. So, what’s most to like about his often conflicted character as his story begins in season three?
“I love playing Roy Kent,” Goldstein revealed to me. “It’s weird to analyze, because I feel half and half protective of him. I have true love for Roy and feel very sad for him many times. I don’t think he knows how to regulate his emotions. Feelings are new to him and I think they freak him out and he doesn’t feel like he deserves love or happiness. There’s something very tragic about it, but I love playing the part and would happily do it for a long time.”
With Sudeikis having such an active hand in front of the camera, as well as behind the scenes, I was curious how he could say his priorities have changed over the course of his development Ted Lassowith these characters feeling like real people to many of us viewers.
“Me too, man — I’m right there with you,” Sudeikis said. “I would say the first season I was in 90% of the scenes, the second season maybe 65% of the scenes. This season, I don’t know the metrics – we’re still going through it. That means more time on set where I don’t have to like shave or do hair and makeup, watch and support the script and acting, and support our directors and fellow producers and our entire crew. It’s been a fun process to do this show and I’ve been lucky to be involved in a lot of projects that have that kind of spirit behind it, but this was probably the most obvious example of it manifesting and finding its way to the screen.”
Sudeikis went on to tell me that the less he’s in front of the camera, the more he has to work, which he said in a joking tone, but it was clear he meant it. “When my children ask me What does a producer do? I’m like he’s answering questions all day, every day, and I’m lucky that it’s something I’m so passionate about and I’m doing it with people I care so much about.”
Now with 12 new episodes ahead of us for Ted LassoIn the third season of Apple TV+, I had to bring up the ever-inspiring sign hanging above the coaches’ door in the Richmond locker room: “Believe.” I asked these three beloved stars from this ensemble cast what the term “Believe” means to them today, and if that definition has changed at all, following their experiences working on this award-winning series.
Waddingham revealed, “I would say it resonates with me in terms of my career, in general. I knew I had something to offer on screen, but it always eluded me. That’s why I said what I said at the Emmys, and I didn’t want it to fall off my face, but the point is to allow the people of the stage to come out on the screen. I had to believe in myself. I had to keep pushing, and it takes a person who also believes in you – that was Jason Sudeikis. To go No, let’s have a 6’2” woman in heels, but you know what? She can also be vulnerable. I was like “Yeah! Yes! You see?’ Just because you look like you have it all together on the outside, you can still be a bag of cracked old nerves on the inside. It was so amazing that I was given this opportunity and I thought it would come.”
On his definition of “Believe,” Goldstein said, “I think some of it happens magically, and what I mean by that is Jason has always had this thing—and I don’t remember the exact quote, but it’s something like When you make something, you do 90% of the work and then leave 10% for God to come into the room. I think that’s how it is Ted Lasso Made. Everyone works really hard on these scripts, preparing everything really hard, but then you leave some room for some magic to happen on the spot. There’s this “Believe” sign that’s incredibly simple, and everyone who watches it has a different sense of what that means to them. If it was more like, ‘Believe in yourself,’ it would diminish how much that could mean, I think, and that it collectively made sense the more people put it in.”
Sudeikis concluded our conversation with, “I would say that ‘Believe’ to me is believing that everything happens for a reason. The good, we can easily accept. Oh, I deserve this, I earned this, I wished for this as a child – but you have to believe that bad things have a reason too. When you first burn, it will peel, it will look bad, but after a while, you might discover why you needed that callus on that toe or somewhere on your feet. Then the way I would say it’s changed for me, and I don’t know if it’s changed so much as it’s reaffirmed the concept of believing in what you’re doing. Believe in the stories you’re telling, believe in the people you’re tasked with portraying or creating or writing or directing or props for – you just believe in what you’re doing.”