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In praise of Coach Beard, Ted Lasso's "unsolvable puzzle"

  • "There’s something to be said for mystery, and it’s kind of perfect that Ted Lasso — an earnest and sweet show that frequently dives into its characters backstories to reveal their current motivations — has one character who is an unsolvable puzzle," says Brian Grubb of Brendan Hunt's character. "I mean, what do we know about Coach Beard, for certain? Let’s tick off a few things: (1) Loves chess and can play it in his head without a board, (2) Sings Lady Gaga at karaoke (and 3) is an extremely solid dude. This last thing is as important as it is true. Consider for a second how Coach Beard ended up where he is. He was an assistant football coach in America. His buddy and boss went through a bad breakup and kind of fled across the Atlantic Ocean to coach a sport neither of them understand in what could certainly be considered a manic episode, and he was just like, 'Yup, I’m in.' Think about that for a while at some point. Think about if you have anyone in your life who would do that for you, or if you have anyone in your life you would do that for. It’s a big deal."


    • How does Brendan Hunt feel being part of a beloved show with so few detractors?: "We certainly couldn’t foresee the world it’d be releasing into,” he says. “We knew the world was toxic long before 2020 really, really decided to kick things up. But the reaction to it, that’s all something that is in a separate petri dish of this giant lab called...LIFE. So we’re both in it but it feels separate from us, at least in its genesis and its momentum.”
    • Toheeb Jimoh on Sam Obisanya's journey in Season 2: "The nature of his character is he isn't necessarily the guy that would be the poster boy for the team or for any ad campaign," he says. "So the fact that he's chosen is just brilliant. He's somebody so humble and usually not in the lime light, so the fact that he gets the opportunity is amazing. He is taking on some of those leadership roles and growing into himself as a young man and as a player."
    • Hannah Waddingham struggles to keep a straight face acting opposite Jason Sudeikis: "Imagine playing Rebecca, where I'm meant to be this stoic ice queen," she says. "Imagine doing scenes when Jason has got the cheeky little pixie going on in his eyes. He's a nightmare! And so is Nick Mohammed, to the point where in season two, when Nick Mohammed and I have to do scenes together, we have to slightly look off the side of each other's faces." Waddingham adds that she has to "really dig in and keep (her) focus" to complete certain scenes, but that it is a delightful challenge. "We are all kept on our toes big time. The only thing that stops you from constantly f*cking around and having a laugh is the concentration you need to have on that set."
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    TOPICS: Brendan Hunt, Apple TV+, Ted Lasso, Hannah Waddingham, Toheeb Jimoh