‘Ted Lasso’ Cast Celebrates Emmy Noms & Teases What’s Ahead in Season 3
The cast of Ted Lasso (sans series lead Jason Sudeikis, nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series) recently traveled across the pond to celebrate the show’s 20 Primetime Emmy nominations at a FYC screening and panel at The Maybourne hotel in Beverly Hills. TV Insider was on the pre-panel red carpet to ask the actors about their nods and press the cast about the upcoming Season 3 (rumored to be the show’s last) currently in production. So, break out a box of shortbread biscuits, brew a pot of Earl Grey tea, pull up a chair, and read on to get the scoop!
Sam Richardson (who plays Ghanaian billionaire Edwin Akufo) and James Lance (reporter Trent Crimm) are both nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. Given Edwin’s reaction to AFC Richmond’s Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh) turning down an offer to play for Raja Casablanca, his Moroccan football club, it first appeared the billionaire accepted the player’s choice.
“[Edwin] was so sure that his game had been won and then, we watched it crumble,” Richardson tells TV Insider. “His face cracked. Edwin went from billionaire playboy to what most billionaires probably truly are. The façade came down because it didn’t need to be there anymore.”
Lance says that it’s truly an honor just to be nominated — especially when his fellows in the category include both Richardson and Nathan Lane, who received a nod for his role as Teddy Dimas in Only Murders in the Building (Hulu). “I just love and adore Nathan,” Lance says. “He was phenomenal on stage in The Producers and [on film] in The Birdcage. All the nominees are amazing. Sam is phenomenal.”
In a surprise twist, Trent revealed to Ted in the Season 2 finale that he was no longer a sports reporter for the Independent, following the publication of the article he wrote on Ted’s mental health.
“Trent’s been deeply affected by Ted Lasso,” Lance explains. “Ted’s mental health is a serious issue and that’s something that’s not talked about in the masculine world of sports.” The actor adds that “Trent effectively fired himself and now he’s stepping out into the world and he’s able to breathe and be the man he wants to be.”
Is Lance wondering what role he’ll play in Season 3 — if any — given this change? “They don’t tell me anything,” deflects the actor, who hastens to add, “Trent’s on a journey.”
Reality TV, always ripe for a little knock from scripted TV, got one when the show tapped into the alternative programming phenomenon with Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) leaving Manchester City to join the cast of Lust Conquers All, a popular reality dating world set in the Ted Lasso universe.
“[Reality] is such a huge part of our culture now,” Dunster acknowledges. “You see this cross-germination of people trying to find their moment and improve their brand.” The actor applauds the show’s writers for having Jamie make the move even though it didn’t turn out the way he wanted. “It was a natty bit of script writing and fit well with Jamie.”
Of course, he later returned to the team and confessed sharing his feelings about Keeley Jones (Outstanding Supporting Actress nominee Juno Temple) to her boyfriend Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein). At first, in a surprise move, Roy forgave Jamie but later head-butted him after the team’s big victory; then, Roy quickly embraced Jamie.
Dunster was one of the few cast members on the carpet to give a specific preview for Season 3. “There’s a new character who comes in and is a very funny character,” he teases. “He’s a good lynchpin for the series. What we’ve seen is people learn lessons in Season 1 and then, they enacted those lessons in Season 2, and there’s [going to be] a happy culmination of those things in Season 3.”
Temple says Keeley’s love life may be uncertain but she’s hoping that her character’s relationship with her mentor Rebecca Welton (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series nominee Hannah Waddingham) stands the test of time. “I take my hat off to the writers of this show,” Temple says. “They write such extraordinary stories for all of us. Getting to have a relationship [on-screen] with a woman [Waddingham] who is also one of my best friends in life? It’s genuine and positive. We need to see that more. I’ll be proud of [this relationship] for my entire career.”
As for Keeley and Roy Kent ending up happily ever after, well, doesn’t “Keely Kent” have a nice flow to it? “It does sound good, right?” Temple says with a smile.
Athletic actors Kola Bokinni (Isaac McAdoo) and Cristo Fernández (Dani Rojas) have helped bring authenticity to the football-themed series given their backgrounds in playing the game. In the show’s first season, Ted called Issac “a Rodin sculpture in cleats.”
“To be honest,” I didn’t know what a Rodin sculpture was,” Bokinni shares. “I had to google it. When I saw it, I went, ‘Sweet! That was nice.’”
Fernández, a former professional player of the Estudiantes Tecos Club in Mexico, connects to his character’s belief that “Football is life.” “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you draw,” he offers. “That’s why football is life. You have to train every day for your dreams.”
Did the athlete-turned-actor face any challenges when he traded in his cleats for a headshot given how people in Hollywood tend to put people in boxes? “There will always be people telling you that you can’t do something,” he says. “When you want something and you have patience and discipline, I believe hard work will pay off.”
Ted Lasso, Season 3 Premiere, TBA, Apple TV+