‘Ted Lasso’s Phil Dunster on Exploring Jamie’s Vulnerability in Season 2
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Ted Lasso, Season 2, Episode 2, “Lavender.”]
The episode saw the cocky player knocked down several pegs after he was booted from the Love Island-like show Lust Conquers All. Kicked off of Manchester City’s team, as a result, Jamie’s looking for action, but approaching ex-girlfriend Keeley (Juno Temple) for help only leads him to Ted’s (Jason Sudeikis) metaphorical front door.
While the power to bring back Jamie to AFC Richmond is in Ted’s hands, it’s a decision that weighs heavily on both men. Ultimately it’s Dr. Sharon Fieldstone’s (Sarah Niles) observations of the team and its ongoing ties that helps Ted decide. Below, Dunster opens up about showing Jamie’s softer side and teases what’s to come for the layered player.
Jamie opens up to Ted about the reason he left Man City to participate in Lust Conquers All. Did he know he wouldn’t be allowed back or do you think Jamie believed he’d be welcome back?
Phil Dunster: I think that it’s a testament to how bulletproof Jamie Tartt probably thinks that he is. He thinks that he’s invincible because he’s a young man who has been told his whole life that he is special and that he’s been playing under one of the best managers in the world. When he played for AFC Richmond he’s was like, “I’m the biggest fish in this tiny, tiny pond.” So when he goes back to Man City he sort of thinks, “Well, I can just do whatever, and of course they’re going to want me back because I’m Jamie Tartt.” And whilst having gone on this emotional journey in Season 1, he is still getting it wrong.
It just goes to show the ebbs and flows and that the progress is never linear in these situations. He may try to be better, but he’s still a human being and he’s still himself deep down, so maybe there’s some self-sabotage at play.
Will we see some of that confidence break down as the season progresses, especially now that he’s back on AFC Richmond?
I think one of the reasons that the show has so been so successful is that people see all of this investigation and exploration of human nature. They can relate to it because they understand that on the surface, we may see one thing, but deep down we’re hurting, scared or anxious. Jamie on the outside is confident; we see that in his story with Ted in Season 1. And we see that Ted is going through this whole maelstrom of emotional turmoil [himself]. That emotional journey is continued in Season 2. You’re going to see a continuation of people trying to figure out who they are, who they’re trying to be, and what it is that they need to learn in order to make that happen.
Jamie shares a moment with Ted at the pub when he asks to rejoin the team. What was it like tapping into that vulnerability and can you tease what’s ahead for Jamie’s return?
His tail is between his legs. He’s eating humble pie. It’s really hard for him to say [sorry] because that’s something he’s always taught himself never to say. Saying sorry is being vulnerable and being vulnerable is bad. But I think that we see Jamie learn, through Ted’s teaching really, that being vulnerable is a good thing and that by opening yourself up emotionally, people will do the same. It’s a really interesting thing for me to watch Jamie go through because I guess I’m sort of trying to learn from that as well.
Ted Lasso, Season 2, New Episodes, Fridays, Apple TV+