“People Will Always Make You Cry”: Our Interview With The ‘Ted Lasso’ Cast
The turn to the dark side by Nate (Nick Mohammed) in Season Two of Ted Lasso left us all shook.
We loved Nate! He was an overlooked nerd, an absolute sweetheart to whom Ted and co. gave a new lease on life. And what did he do? Turned toxic, and turned hard.
I talked with the cast of Ted Lasso about, amongst other things, Nate’s heel turn. After all, this is a show about complex people who — essentially — love one another. So. Do the cast believe that anyone — even the baddies out there — can be redeemed? That their humanity can be used to pull them out of the darkness? Or is a dick sometimes just… a dick?
“I kinda feel like that’s the message of the show, isn’t it?” says Toheeb Jimoh, who plays the absolutely stellar Richmond FC recruit Sam Obisanya. “The message of the show is that there’s a million reasons why people turn out the way that they do. For instance, you take Sam and the relationship with his dad, and you see how that relationship has led them down the paths they both go down. So I do kind of believe in the redemptive quality of people! That being said, you do get some Edwin Akufos who are just… dickheads.”
“Fabulous dickheads,” adds Hannah Waddingham, who plays owner of the club, Rebecca Welton.
“Yeah”, continues Toheeb. “So it’s kind of fifty-fifty on this side!”
“But we don’t know!“ replies Waddingham. “Edwin might have had a complicated childhood!”
Jimoh weighs this up for a moment.
“I don’t know if… yeah, look,” he says. “You can’t tell someone you’re gonna poo in their family house, and then burn it down, without being a dickhead, through and through, you know?”
The whole cast laughs, although Brett Goldstein — the beautifully cantankerous Oscar the Grouch of the show, Roy Kent, mumbles, “I disagree.”
“Alright,” cuts in Brendan Hunt (Coach Beard, Ted’s almost shamanic offsider), “we weren’t going to say anything. But Season 3? It’s all about the redemption arc of Edwin Akufo. We’re givin’ the people what they want!”
Once the laughter has died down, Brett mulls the question over a little.
“I believe people… uh… I think if you ask people the right questions… they’ll always make you cry,” he muses. “Eventually. You just have to keep asking until you find the thing.”
He pauses, then adds: “I’m not sure about sociopaths, I guess? Sociopaths? Probably you keep asking, and they keep on saying, nope, I’m great! But I like to believe people are good. I’ve seen a few people around where I go… look, maybe not. But then I always wonder what their narrative is. Do they go to bed and go… What a great day I had! I was great!”
“But I think it also says as much about our capacity for forgiveness as much as it is on the individual making the right or wrong decisions,” says Nick Mohammed, the last season’s boogeyman. “You know? Someone having a redemptive story is as much about someone allowing themselves to have that redemption, and to actually accept it, as it is on the person who they wronged.”
After the whole cast dispersed, I had a one-on-one with Waddingham, where we went a little deeper on Season 3’s key themes. First, though, I had an important question to ask her — one she dodged with all the expert timing of Dani Rojas himself…
Ted Lasso Season 3 premieres this Wednesday on Apple TV+.
Paul Verhoeven is an author, broadcaster and TV presenter. His books ‘Electric Blue’ and ‘Loose Units’ are out now through Penguin, and he hosts the podcasts ‘Dish Island’ and ‘Loose Units’. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram, and in person, if you can (he’s very good at hiding).