Ted Lasso Cast: Fun Facts About the Actors and Characters You Love!

Awards might not have been a specific goal for Jason Sudeikis when he created Ted Lasso, the hit Apple TV+ show about a folksy U.S. football coach who, against all odds, lands in England heading up a struggling British soccer team, but the feel-good series sure netted its fair share of accolades. In its three seasons, Lasso and the Ted Lasso cast members received a whopping 61 Emmy nominations and 11 wins, including two Lead Actor trophies for Sudeikis’ own titular role, two Supporting Actor wins for Brett Goldstein as Roy Kent, a Supporting Actress win for Hannah Waddingham as Rebecca Welton, and Outstanding Comedy Series honors for both 2021 and 2022.

The hit series and character — who was first introduced in a 2013 NBC promo — captured viewers’ hearts right out of the gates in 2020, and it continued to charm fans throughout three seasons, providing laughter and hope during the COVID pandemic and lockdown.

While that wasn’t intentional, it’s something that Sudeikis is proud of. “I don’t think anybody really writes a comedy to instill hope in people — maybe incidentally — [but] I know laughter certainly helps me get through hard parts of my life, so if we provided that, that’s fantastic. That’s just gravy,” he shared on the red carpet at one event.

“The best part of the whole experience has been the people,” co-creator Brendan Hunt, who also played Coach Beard, told Forbes of the behind-the-scenes team effort that made every episode a gem. “We just really got lucky every step of the way. Everyone has been such a pleasure to work with and when we are truly done… it’s going to be a real-life change to not have these people around all the time.”

On the eve of the series’ final season, Nick Mohammed, who played Nate, was feeling just as sentimental. “We’re just so grateful for it and we can’t believe the impact it has had. We’re constantly sort of pinching ourselves and aware that not every job is going to be like this.”

The fact that the series wrapped up earlier this year, though, doesn’t mean that the fun has to end for its fans! That’s why we rounded up some intriguing facts about the show’s three stellar seasons, along with some updates on the Ted Lasso cast and the beloved characters they portrayed.

Ted Lasso cast and behind-the-scenes laughs

In honor of Ted, put up a pot of hot brown water and read on for some fascinating tidbits!

1. The show had a secret recipe for success

Jason Sudeikis and Hannah Waddingham in ‘Ted Lasso’ (2023)Moviestilldb.com/WarnerBrosTV
Jason Sudeikis and Hannah Waddingham in ‘Ted Lasso’ (2023)Moviestilldb.com/WarnerBrosTV A360

Before the “Taste the Biscuit” song went viral on social media, Ted had introduced Rebecca —and viewers — to his magically delicious biscuits, which he’d always bring her in the morning. The truth, though? “They were dry a-holes of biscuits at first,” Hanna Waddingham revealed on the Today show, before stressing that the props did get better because she’d “complained about them so globally” that producers started to put “so much butter and sugar in them, I could happily eat them all day.”

When Apple TV (unlike Ted) spilled the recipe’s secrets, we learned that there are just four ingredients: flour, salt, butter and confectioners’ sugar. “Eating them warm from the oven was absolute heaven, with flavors of butter and sugar melting together in perfect shortbread cookie form,” Today.com reported after whipping up a batch.

2. Brett Goldstein is a surprisingly stand-up guy

Brett Goldstein in ‘Ted Lasso’ (2021)Moviestilldb.com/WarnerBrosTV
Brett Goldstein in ‘Ted Lasso’ (2021)Moviestilldb.com/WarnerBrosTV A360

Don’t be fooled by his character Roy Kent’s steely, superserious disposition: the actor has been performing live comedy for more than 20 years. Goldstein — who also served as a writer, executive story editor and executive producer for Ted Lasso — even recently set out on his first stand-up comedy tour in 2023.

“There will be swears” he promises of the tour, called “The Second Best Night of Your Life,” which has recently been adding dates into 2024. He also has repeatedly paired up with popular Netflix comedian Mae Martin (the star-creator of Feel Good, a British show co-starring Friends’ Lisa Kudrow) for various projects, including their “Mae and Brett Make Love to One Another Live On Stage” nights of improvised, work-in-progress stand-up comedy. “It’s where I put the ugly thoughts I have, the bad parts of myself,” Goldstein told British GQ of his approach to stand-up, along with its rewards. “Every time I go, ‘I shouldn’t say this, is this gonna work?’, those are the best bits.”

3. The series could’ve been a musical

Hannah Waddingham in ‘Ted Lasso’ (2020)Moviestilldb.com/WarnerBrosTV
Hannah Waddingham in ‘Ted Lasso’ (2020)Moviestilldb.com/WarnerBrosTV A360

Ted Lasso wisely put Hannah Waddingham’s singing skills to good use, having the character serve up killer performances of everything from Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go,” Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home),” Kenny Rogers’ “She Believes in Me,” Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” and, most memorably, Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The gifted songstress has starred on stage in Spamalot, Into the Woods and Kiss Me Kate, among other musicals, picking up three Olivier nominations (London’s Tony’s) along the way.

And Jeremy Swift (Higgins) plays violin, guitar, mandolin and bass, and has released a couple of albums, including Songs of Escape and Endless Night, which came out in 2023 “after two and a half years of work (sometimes during #tedlasso breaks),” he shared on Instagram. The surprise talent, though, might be Phil Dunster (Jamie Tartt), who recently popped up on Waddingham’s Home for Christmas special for AppleTV+ and smoothly crooned with her and the Fabulous Lounge Swingers on a jazzy version of “Have Yourself a Merry Christmas,” complete with some equally as smooth dance moves.

Related:‘Ted Lasso’ Star Hannah Waddingham Showcases Her Incredible Voice in ‘Home For Christmas’ Spectacular

4. This Ted Lasso cast member scored big on Jeopardy!

Brendan Hunt in ‘Ted Lasso’ (2021)Moviestilldb.com/WarnerBrosTV
Brendan Hunt in ‘Ted Lasso’ (2021)Moviestilldb.com/WarnerBrosTV A360

Coach Beard had quite the impressive run when he appeared on Celebrity Jeopardy! in 2022, reaching the semifinals and winning $50,000 for a Ted Lasso-inspired charity: Soccer Without Borders.

“In the vein of soccer coaches and the positive work they can do, it’s an organization that works with children who are refugees, migrant or otherwise, [who are] displaced, and it gives them some inclusion and mentorship that they otherwise might not have,” he explained during his appearance.

Hunt actually had an uncle who competed on the game show in the ’90s, but he came home with only $300 in winnings. “I’m here for my revenge,” Hunt joked to host Mayim Bialik about defending his family honor, which he surely did. The Ted Lasso cast member has something to be even prouder of: He successfully tested to be on Jeopardy! after he’d shot season 1 of Lasso but before it came out, so he was put into the pool of potential contestants “the old-fashioned way,” as he shared on Instagram, two years before being asked on as a celebrity.

5. Jason Sudeikis had a relative who practically lived at a bar

George Wendt in ‘Cheers’ 1982)Moviestilldb.com/Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions
George Wendt in ‘Cheers’ 1982)Moviestilldb.com/Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions A360

On TV, that is. Jason Sudeikis’ uncle is none other than George Wendt, who played the lovable (shout it with us) NORM! on Cheers throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Sudeikis, who snuck in a little tribute to his uncle on Ted Lasso in the form of an autographed picture hanging at a kebab shop, had the honor of serving as host of 2017’s “I Can’t Believe They Wendt There: The Roast of George Wendt” at Chicago’s Second City club.

The Ted Lasso creator has spoken about the influence his famous relative’s job had on his young mind growing up. “I would go visit my uncle George [Wendt] on the Cheers set and be like, ‘This is a job? You guys all just joking around and screwing around?’” he once shared, clearly intrigued and excited about one day doing the same. And funny coincidence how there was a Sam (Toheeb Jimoh) and Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) workplace romance on Lasso, just as there was on Cheers (Ted Danson and Kirstie Alley).

Related:Wanna Go Where Everybody Knows Your Name? See the ‘Cheers’ Cast Then and Now

6. There’s a true “Rainbow” connection between two romantically involved cast members

Mary Roscoe and Jeremy Swift (2022)Dave Benett / Contributor / Getty
Mary Roscoe and Jeremy Swift (2022)Dave Benett / Contributor / Getty

Life sometimes imitates art, and sometimes it goes the other way. Jeremy Swift, who played Ted Lasso’s Higgins, had been married to his onscreen wife, Julie (Mary Roscoe), since 1992 before they were paired up on the show. It was executive producer Bill Lawrence who was responsible for the casting.

As Swift recalled to Vulture, “Bill came up to me and asked if I’d worked with my wife before, and if so, did we get along. ‘Interesting question, yes. We met on a job decades ago.’ And he told me he’d love to give her the role of Higgins’s wife.” The Rolling Stones song “She’s a Rainbow,” which the series established was the tune playing when Leslie and Julie met, saw a 1,977% increase in downloads after it was used in the series, according to Billboard.

7. Juno Temple has been tongue-tied for years

Juno Temple in ‘Ted Lasso’ (2023)Moviestilldb.com/WarnerBrosTV
Juno Temple in ‘Ted Lasso’ (2023)Moviestilldb.com/WarnerBrosTV A360

All British accents are not alike, as actors know. As Ted Lasso’s PR girl boss Keeley Jones, Temple, who is from London’s Hammersmith area, had her adjust the natural way she spoke to properly perform her character’s Essex accent.

Now that she’s landed the role of Dorothy “Dot” Lyon on FX’s Fargo, set in America’s quirky midwest, the actor’s tongue is getting a whole new kind of workout. “I remember when I first started doing dialect sessions, I was still doing Season 3 of Ted Lasso, so I was speaking Essex while also being Juno in real life,” Temple told Business Insider of her accent being all over the map, literally and figuratively. “And then there’s Juno’s inside voice. And then Dot was coming to life.… It’s kind of funny sounding, oh yeah,” she added, noting that “it took me a minute” to get her latest character’s accent just right.

8. Some stars got their kicks in the real world of soccer

Cristo Fernández, Kola Bokinni and cast of ‘Ted Lasso’ (2023)Moviestilldb.com/WarnerBrosTV
Cristo Fernández, Kola Bokinni and cast of ‘Ted Lasso’ (2023)Moviestilldb.com/WarnerBrosTV A360

While many of the guys who starred as players on AFC Richmond had some background in soccer — or football, depending on where they’re from — a few Ted Lasso cast members had scored some more substantial credentials. “Back home in Guadalajara, Mexico, where I’m from, I played not the top level, like first edition, but I played professionally in the third and second division,” Cristo Fernández, who played chipper Dani Rojas told Screen Times. “That was my thing. Football was my passion since I was a little kid.”

And Kola Bokinni, who played Isaac McAdoo, also played semi-professionally. Surprisingly, he told Whistle that playing the sport on the show was harder than playing in real life. “In Ted Lasso, every single scene we’re on the football field is basically choreographed.… If that messes up you have to start again,” he shared, adding that “everything in [real] football is spontaneous.”

9. Like his character Nathan Shelley, Nick Mohammed has a bit of a split personality

Nick Mohammed in ‘Ted Lasso’ (2023)Moviestilldb.com/WarnerBrosTV
Nick Mohammed in ‘Ted Lasso’ (2023)Moviestilldb.com/WarnerBrosTV A360

It was hard to watch the lovable Nathan go from Ted’s humble, awkward sidekick to the villainous win-at-all-costs version of himself under the influence of smarmy Rupert Mannion (Anthony Head).

Luckily, Mohammed’s real-life alter ego is a much more entertaining one, named Mr. Swallow, “an off-kilter lifestyle guru, whom he has played for over a decade,” according to Playbill. “Frankly, the character is a bit of a nightmare, so this one-off show could go one of three ways—two of which don’t even bear thinking about!” Mohammed joked in a 2023 statement about bringing Mr. Swallow to the U.S. for the first time, adding, “I couldn’t be more excited and terrified!”

For more behind-the-scenest secrets, click through the links below!

9 Royally Surprising Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of ‘The Crown’

‘‘This is Us’ Cast Then and Now: Catch Up With the Pearson Family Today

Copyright 2023 A360 Media

This story was originally published December 10, 2023, 7:51 AM.

source: star-telegram

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