Team Ted Lasso and AFC Richmond have several hurdles and challenges to manoeuvre on and off the field as the award-winning sports comedy series returns for a third season, and we’ve got the insider edge on it all.
In an exclusive interview with HELLO!, British actress Hannah Waddingham who plays Rebecca Welton, the owner of the football team AFC Richmond, confesses that if there’s one thing that’s certainly improved on the show over seasons, it’s the famous Ted Lasso biscuits.
“I have globally complained about those biscuits so much. In season one, they tasted like ceiling tiles, but in this new season they’ve put more butter and sugar in them and who doesn’t like more butter and sugar? They are lovely but, at first, they were awful and Jason Sudeikis made sure I got better biscuits to eat this season.”
Playing Rebecca, a woman finding her place in a man’s world, Waddingham confesses her on-screen character might as well be her alter ego. “I might be this boss bitch who is immaculately tailored and all, and even though I am bohemian and very ramshackle as a person, I would say what lent to Rebecca, and she to me, was to wear our heart on our sleeve. It wasn’t written as much as I wanted it, but I wanted people to know she was who she was because of deep-seated hurt.”
Despite this similarity, Waddingham admits, without a doubt, that running a football club IRL would be a nightmare for her.
The budding romance between Rebecca and star AFC Richmond defender Sam Obisanya (played by Toheeb Jimoh) is also something that fans have been eagerly waiting to see more of.
Whether the couple gets together in the new season or not is for everyone to see, but Waddingham says it’s the on-screen friendship between Keeley (played by Juno Temple), a model turned PR consultant for AFC Richmond, Sassy (played by Ellie Taylor), a psychologist, and her character Rebecca that is one of the most refreshing things to see on the show.
“Three girls who have gone out of their way to show how women are portrayed in a positive light on a screen rather than the bitchy connotation we get to see often is a huge deal. The three of us were also allowed by the show writers to add to our characters and make them three-dimensional,” says the actress.
Actor Brendan Hunt who plays the gruff and comical Coach Beard, and is also one of the co-writers for the show, admits that taking the narrative forward has been an every day job for the creators since 2019. “There may be gaps on the outside but nothing has changed for us. We hardly get any time to take a breath.”
He shares that there have been few changes for his character on the show as he continues to support Sudekis’s Ted Lasso. “Coach Beard has the least arc amongst the main characters, he is just the same. But his support for Ted will be greater.”
When asked which Indian actor he thinks could have been part of the show, Hunt promptly responds, “Frieda Pinto. I have not seen her in a while but she would be perfect as a striker.”
As you might recall, when we left the show last season, AFC Richmond was facing its biggest betrayal with the departure of the water boy-turned-coach Nate, aka Nathan Shelley (played by Nick Mohammad) after he moves over to West Ham. The actor admits he knew about his character’s trajectory for a while.
“I was well aware that the character was headed this way from season one. Jason Sudekis informed me that this is what it is. The massive downward spiral and betrayal and then picking up from where he left off. I was very fortunate the writing has been stupendously brilliant,” says Mohammed.
Toheb Jimoh, who plays AFC Richmond star player Sam Obisanya, says playing football was on his bucket list of on-screen roles. Revealing his dislike for Bubble Tea during promotional visits to America, the actor says he would choose a world cup win over an Emmy award any day.
“When Messi won the world cup for Argentina, they celebrated for a week. I would want that for myself and maybe get to play for Nigeria and win the world cup for them,” says the actor, who is a key character in the forthcoming season.
But would it be curtains down for the show post the third season? Sudekis confesses he does not have the answer to it either.
“It’s impossible to say whether there will be another season. I would say it’s done unless the universe wants us to be back in a couple of years. This chapter is definitely finishing,” he announces firmly.
Ted Lasso Season 3 is currently streaming on Apple TV+