FandomWire’s Oliver Swift had the opportunity to speak to actors Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises, Maleficent), Brett Goldstein (Doctor Who, SuperBob) and Phil Dunster (Murder on the Orient Express, Dracula) about their new series, Ted Lasso.
OS: Hello and welcome to the FandomWire show, I’m Oliver Swift and I’m here with actors Juno Temple, Brett Goldstein and Phil Dunster who all star in the Apple TV+ original series, Ted Lasso, which is set to start streaming this month. How are you guys doing?
BG: Really good man.
JT: Pleasure to be speaking to you.
OS: Fantastic. Just to start with, could you briefly tell me about all your characters?
JT: I play Keeley Jones who, at the start of the series, is in a relationship with Jamie – played by Phil – who is the star player of Richmond Football Club. He’s young, he’s hot, he’s happening, he’s arrogant and he’s a bit of a nightmare.
PD: That’s just me.
JT: But, he’s got a heart of gold and Keeley sees that. She is somebody that really sees the best in people and sees the best in Jamie, although that might not ultimately mean a romantic relationship. She’s also at that point in her life where she’s not sure where to take a next step and she has Rebecca [Hannah Waddingham] come and take her under her wing. Rebecca is a really incredible force for Keeley, who is incredibly inspired by her. Rebecca really sees potential in Keeley, that Keeley wouldn’t have really seen in herself and so, their relationship is really special to me because it’s properly about two women supporting each other and encouraging each other to really be the best versions of themselves. I think that’s an example women should constantly be setting, we just need to be encouraging each other all the time. And Keeley and Rebecca got to do that, as did Juno and Hannah.
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OS: That’s great.
JT: And then there’s Roy Kent – Brett – who is also in her life. I think he is somebody at the end of his tether, someone who is frustrated, angry, annoyed and again, she sees there is a much sweeter and more lovable person underneath it all. That relationship was another really fun one to discover and develop. I love playing Keeley, I think she’s a really badass chick. I felt really uplifted after playing her.
OS: OK, Brett – I just wanted to speak to you about your extra role on the show. You’re credited as an executive story editor for the series, you wrote one of the episodes. Were you brought on as a writer first or as an actor?
BG: Yeah, so I had worked with Bill Lawrence [showrunner] on a pilot, a few years back and we’d stayed in touch. Then, he was working on this show with Jason [Sudeikis] and he called me and said, ‘I think you’d be good for this as a writer. And as an actor, but at this stage, we’re just writing it.’ And then I met with Jason and we got on very well. They’d already written the first episode and then I came on and it’s the next nine we all shaped together. I mean, Jason had such a clear view of what he wanted from the beginning and it was interesting how well he knew all the characters. So, it was just kind of instinctive for him. We’d go, ‘what about this’ and he’d go ‘no, not quite’ – he’d just feel it, his instincts were so good for it. And once I got to play the part of Roy, ooh, it was a treat! I tell you, it was a treat. Just being able to mould stuff as we went. I’ve said this before, but Keeley was written a certain way, but once we met Juno and worked with her, there was so much about her personality that was brilliant and funny and interesting and we started to change the writing of Keeley to fit Juno. Keeley’s a lot more Juno than she was to start with. Being part of all that was incredible.
OS: As a writer, did you directly influence any of Roy’s storylines?
BG: Yeah, I think so, yeah. Often we’d do a thing where somebody would say in the writer’s room, ‘this happen, this happens and then Roy says-‘, and they’d look to me and I’d say it. Jason would do it, he’d turn to me and say, ‘well, you play him. How would you say it?’. So it’s great and it’s also a good way of making sure Phil is always nice to me. Because if he isn’t, then I can say ‘oh, look who’s lines got cut this week’.
PD: He’s got lots of plants in his room right now and they’re all from me, because I’m trying to keep him sweet.
OS: (laughs) Well, Phil – I think it’s fair to say, in the show, you play a rather arrogant, selfish character. Did you play him with any redeeming qualities in mind or was it fun to just be a dick?
PD: I didn’t have to get into character whatsoever, it was lovely. (laughs) A lot of people say those sort of parts are the most fun to do because you’re able to do and say the things you wouldn’t necessarily get to do and say in real life. Jamie doesn’t really have a filter of social niceties, but he was such an absolute treat to play because he’s audacious, ridiculous and flamboyant, in his own way. I absolutely love football, or soccer – wherever you’re from – I will always love it and so, to be able to be part of a show where you play football most days and then to also emulate those sorts of player I watch week-in, week-out, it was a genuine dream come true.
OS: That’s great to hear. Juno, you’ve obviously starred in a lot of big films as well, so when it comes to acting in a TV series made specifically for a streaming service, do you feel that cinema is inevitably going to make its way into the home or do you think there’s definitely still a place for both?
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JT: I think there’s a place for both and I think there always will be, but as an actor, I think you have to approach a part without thinking where it’s going to go, but rather thinking about how you can make it the most genuine and breathe the most life into that part. I think the thing that is most interesting about television is that it covers a longer period of time. You spend more time with the character, normally and especially with this show, I didn’t fully know the beginning, middle and end when I first started doing it. So, there’s a kind of life imitating art, imitating life situation where you’re sort of not knowing it but, at the same time, you are knowing it. I think there’s always going to be a place for both and I also think it would be really sad if cinema disappeared, entirely. Cinema for me, going to the movies, was something that, in my youth, changed my life for the better and I would be devastated if that was something that was taken away, forever but I also think it’s a wonder to be able to watch things at home, also. Both are important.
OS: Great, thank you. That’s it from me, so thanks for your time.
BG: Pleasure. Thanks, Oliver.
OS: Best of luck with the show.
JT: Thank you, take care.
PD: Thanks, man. Bye.
In the Apple TV+ original series (now streaming), Jason Sudeikis plays Ted Lasso, a small-time college football coach from Kansas hired to coach a professional soccer team in England, despite having no experience coaching soccer.
In addition to starring, the series was developed by Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Joe Kelly and Brendan Hunt, and is based on the pre-existing format and characters from NBC Sports.