Ted Lasso: Juno Temple, Brett Goldstein & Phil Dunster Provide Character Insight & More!

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Ted Lasso will be starting soon, and we had the opportunity to chat with the cast and creators to get their thoughts on the show.

As noted in the Ted Lasso review (which will give you a good introduction of the show for our series of interviews), every member of the cast is valuable and gets juicy and well-developed storylines; the series is an ensemble more than a starring vehicle for Jason Sudeikis.

Up today, we have an actor starring as the hotshot superstar on the Richmond AFC team, an actor/writer on Ted Lasso who also plays one of the team members, and an actress who has the good fortune to play opposite both gentlemen as a social media influencer who gets plucked to help the team by the new owner.

Dunster Temple Goldstein

Juno Temple stars as Keely Jones on the show, who we first meet because she's dating the star player and team hotshot, Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster).

Temples loves playing the role "because I truly think she sees the best in people and also doesn't put up with bullshit."

Temple added, "She has her boundaries, and she knows where those are set, and she's very honest. And I think that's something that I so admired in her. And also, the relationship that she develops with Hannah [Waddingham]'s character, Rebecca, was one that was really special to me.

"Both on and off camera actually. Juno was completely inspired [by] and in awe of Hannah, and Keeley and Rebecca have this relationship where I think Keeley is very inspired by Rebecca and encouraged to be something that she might not have seen in herself.

"It was a really beautiful journey for me, and I really enjoyed every second of it."

Juno Temple 1

Temple was kind of surprised that she got the role, as she's not usually associated with comedy. "Jason reached out to me personally, which, I'm not going to lie, I was quite dumbfounded about. I haven't done much comedy in my life. And so I thought for a minute, 'Oh, are you sure you reached out to the right person?'

But Temple put her faith in Sudeikis, who she considers a "genius actor and comedian" who had faith that she could bring Keeley to life, which is something that she "will be eternally grateful for."

Brett Goldstein plays one of the star team players, Roy Kent, the aging captain with two bad knees with limited time left in the league, a man who hadn't thought beyond his football career.

Goldstein shared, "I think football was his life, is his life. And I think, like a cat, his plan was after two years, take himself off quietly into a corner and die. And I think he's quite sad. He's sort of quite depressed when we find him. I think he's sad this is all the end of it.

Brett Goldstein

"And then Ted Lasso arrives. He's like a clown to him. And he's, like, 'Oh Jesus, this is it; my career's ending with a clown coach.' But then over the course of the series season, Ted gradually, with his optimism and belief in hope, eventually kind of cracks open his hard exterior, and you see the inside, he's all mush."

Goldstein had previously acted on a pilot with co-creator, Bill Lawrence, that wasn't picked up. But Lawrence didn't forget about Goldstein. "He just called me up one day, and he said, 'I'm working on this show. I think you should come and write on it.'

"And I met with Jason, and we got on really well. And he said, 'Yeah, come out.' And so I went out and wrote on it.

"And in the beginning, there was the first script had already been written by Joe (Kelly) and Brendan (Hunt) and Jason and Bill. And we constructed the rest of the show in the room. And then I was lucky enough to get the part of Roy," Goldstein said.

"It's one of the best times of my life. It was such a great team, such a great group of people."

Phil Dunster and Brett Goldstein as Jamie and Roy - Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 3

Dunster got his role the old-fashioned way, by audition. As Temple mentioned, Phil Dunster plays hotshot Jamie Tartt. Dunster says, "He's the striker of the team; he's been told his whole life that he's special, and he really, really believes that with every ounce of his being.

"He's an incredibly fun character to play because he gets to say all the things that you sort of wish -- if you had that much confidence -- you would say, and just as Brett talks about this sort of chiseling down to this sort of mushy core, you see why it is that Jamie is the way he is, and you can see that through the brilliant writing of the whole team, and with Jason and Bill at the helm, you see in really intricate ways. You're shown that rather than told it. It's just owed to the brilliant writing in it."

As for how these three actors and their characters fit together, Temple has the low-down on that. "I'm in this room with both of these gentlemen because I'm very lucky. It's because I did a sort of disco dance love triangle with the two of them. But also, I think a relationship with two of them that actually ultimately does start to crack both of their armor, and yet, be a different armor, Temple mused.

"She can get through steel goals, whatever it is that they're wearing. Or Jamie, I'm sure, like diamonds and Swarovski crystals and all that stuff," Temple laughed, offering a little information on how Roy and Jamie differ in personality on and off the field.

Juno Temple as Keeley - Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 1

"She starts off in a relationship with Jamie and realizes it's not healthy and that she's not being treated the way she wants to be treated, but that she really does care about Jamie and knows that he's a good guy and that he's really good at his job, and that with some guidance, he could be really, really great."

Keeley hopes that Jamie will use his talent to "inspire younger, aspiring football players to be great, as well." Temple continued, "I really think she believes in him and believes that he could be a good superstar, one that becomes worthy to be an idol to younger aspiring footballers.

"And at the same time, she ends up kind of noticing Roy and falling in love with Roy, who is somebody that's got a spiky exterior and is quite grumpy and obviously feels quite threatened by Jamie and also by the fact that his knees aren't doing everything that he wants them to do anymore.

"But at the same time, she is very aware of how good Roy is at the game, even if his body might not be keeping up with his brain, and she knows what power that will bring him at some point and that it could probably help benefit Jamie if she could stop them from hating each other.

Jamie on the Pitch - Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 3

"But I think she really likes the little snippets of a vulnerable Roy that she gets to see. And I think, ultimately, it's a relationship for her that feels healthy and feels like it could be proper love, which I'm not sure Keeley's really had before."

It's not easy bringing to screen a sports production when you're counting on actors to look as excellent as the two starting team players must look on the pitch during Ted Lasso. It proved quite challenging for Goldstein and Dunster to get on the pitch and make a go of it.

"Well, for me, I hadn't really played since I was six," Goldstein laughed. He realized that it was a lot harder to look like a premiership player than he realized. "I have found that people watch football and go, 'I could do that. My grandma would play better.'

"And then when you play with real premiership players, you're like, "Oh no, I think my grandma would struggle with this.

"But I learned a lot. And we were taught a lot, and over time, we played every day, so by the end of it, now I can... I play weekly with my nephew; he's nine, and I whoop his ass. He is nothing," Goldstein said gleefully.

Roy on the Pitch - Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 3

Dunster appreciated the time they had on the field. "We had a kind of boot camp, to begin with," he said. "we had a whole team around us, sort of the team, the players who were making up the sort of supporting cast. We played a lot together."

Dunster laughed, wondering aloud if Goldstein was as pleased as he was that he wasn't required to "show his skills" during the audition process. "We wouldn't be talking to you now, Carissa. Yeah, it was funny because it was on those days, just as Brett says, it's very difficult to look that good.

"And it's funny; I watch Premier League football now, and I'm like, man, they're so good. They're so good. Even the rubbish ones, you're, like, 'you're better than I am.'"

It's even more surprising that Goldstein, although writing on the show, was first considered for the role of Higgins, which eventually skewed older. He wasn't even considered for Roy, but once he got the inclination, he worked hard to get it.

"And with Roy, as we were writing it, I didn't talk to anyone. I didn't tell anyone that I was thinking I could do this, but it felt partly because I knew it was very different from the sort of roles I've played before. And I didn't want to embarrass anyone by going, 'I think I could do this,' in case they were, 'No, I don't think you could.'

Jamie and Roy Playing Football - Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 3

"So what I did was... Well, I'll tell you. Bloody hell, I'll tell you, is when I finished in the writer's room at the end of it, I did a tape on my own of me playing Roy, and I emailed it to Bill and Jason, and I said, 'Look, if this is embarrassing, you can pretend you never got this email, but I really feel like I could play this part and here's a tape.'

"And then I got a call at three in the morning saying, 'Oh yeah, this is fantastic.' And then I was very, very lucky. I got the part."

On a show that is incredibly upbeat and uplifting, Temple's character, Keeley, seems like Ted Lasso's counterpart bringing good feelings and kindness wherever she goes. Rest assured, she's no Mary Poppins, but Keeley has a lot of heart and engages in a beautiful friendship with the new team owner, Rebecca.

It's a rare and genuine relationship between two strong and passionate women on a show seemingly designed for men.

Temple says that she feels honored to portray one of the characters "that properly become true friends and support, encourage, and just fully love each other," something that is so rare in entertainment, let alone the world at large.

Juno Temple as Keeley - Ted Lasso Season 1 Episode 1

"Women need to do that. We need to do that for each other. We need to tell each other when we look beautiful; we need to tell each other when we do a great job at something."

She believes that women need to praise each other and admire their smarts as much as their beauty, encouraging each other to try new things because you have faith the other can do the job.

"That kind of encouragement from woman to woman is so important, and to get to portray that on camera was one of the coolest things I've done ever because it's such a great example to set.

"Hannah Waddingham is just truly an inspiration to me as an actress, as a woman, as a mother, just as an all-around, having a great job on this planet, actually," Temple gushed.

"And so playing the relationship between Keeley and Rebecca was very genuine, and I think I loved how honest Keeley was, and I loved that, initially she's a bit frightened, intimidated of Rebecca because she thinks Rebecca's so graceful and so great at what she does and wouldn't ever accidentally fall over and have a boob pop out or something mortifying, you know?

Juno Temple 3

Temple laughed, "And then actually the first bonding moment they have is over an embarrassing picture that Rebecca can't handle.

"And it's something that Keeley's, like, 'I can relate to that. We're girls. That stuff happens, and we're girls that are sometimes in magazines and dah, dah, dah,' and suddenly as that relationship just blossoms, I just think it's, oh, it's such a cool thing.

"And I love that Rebecca sees this side of Keeley where she really believes that she could be a really savvy publicist for this sports team and gives Keeley a whole new perspective on how she can use her brain and her power of seeing people and having real faith in people."

If you're still not ready to commit to watching Ted Lasso when it premieres on Apple TV+ on Friday, August 14, keep your eyes trained on TV Fanatic because we have a lot more to come to convince you.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Ted Lasso Quotes

Beard: Coach, is this nuts? Us leaving like this?
Ted: I mean, we almost won the whole frigging thing, you know? Saying goodbye to a bunch of nice folks. And I know I've finally accepted that air conditioning is a privilege and not a right. I don't know. What do you think?
Beard: I can't do this. I don't wanna go, Ted. I'm in love with Jane. I wanna stay, and I don't wanna let you down. But with your permission, I'd love to run off this plane and into her arms.
Ted: Well, I mean, what about your luggage?
Beard: Forget my luggage. It's full of rice.
Ted: What? Why?
Beard: I haven't slept for three days, man.
Ted: Okay.
Beard: I'm sorry, you know. I've been dreading this. Talking to you. Abandoning you.
Ted: What?
Beard: No, no, no, hold on, Coach.
Ted: You ain't abandoning me, okay? You're just following your heart. I get it. And, yeah, you should go. But look, man, I don't think they're gonna let you off this plane with that door already shut.
Beard: I have a plan.
Ted: Of course you do. Okay. What do you need me to do?
Beard: Whatever's about to happen, that's a great start. I love you, Ted.
Ted: I love you too, Willis.

Rebecca: John Wingsnight. What a lovely surprise.
John: Hello. Oh, uh, this is Jessica Darling.
Rebecca: Jessica, darling, Rebecca Welton. It's so lovely to meet you.
Jessica: Oh, hi. Likewise. Hello, there.
John: We actually went out on a few dates. And then Rebecca dumped me out of nowhere. In this exact coffee shop. Not that I come here all the time, hoping to run into you. 'Cause I don't.
Jessica: Okay. Well, may I say, Rebecca, thank you. We're engaged. Ring-a-ding-ding. Wedding calling.
Rebecca: Engaged. Congratulations. That's... Wow. How... did...it happen?
John: Oh, we matched on the apps, uh, six months ago. Not Bantr. Couldn't use that. It felt a bit weird since, uh... Yeah. And in a sea of anythings, I went fishing and caught myself a soul mate.
Rebecca: Oh.
John: Took her to see Hamilton on our first date. Amazing. And then defended my honor.
Rebecca: Oh, God.
Jessica: Yeah. Get this. It's intermission. We're standing in line to buy the CD of the soundtrack, 'cause I refuse to stream music. And guess who's standing in front of us. Sir Anthony Hopkins. Can you imagine?
Rebecca: Nope.
John: Jessica politely taps him on the shoulder and asks if he'll film a little video for Jessica's father as Hannibal Lecter, you know. And he said no. Yeah. So I grabbed that rapscallion by the collar, and I said, "Hey, we didn't ask you to be famous." And took a quick ussie of the three of us and emailed it to her... her dad's nurse. Made his day.
Jessica: My shite in nining armor.
Rebecca: What? I just... What did you say?
John: You jumbled your words there a bit.
Rebecca: What did you... You just said, "shite in nining armor"?
Jessica: Yeah. I... I meant to say "knight in shining armor." I just... One of me brain farts.
John: Quite rare for her. She's actually very smart. Went to Oxford for a bit.
Rebecca: Wait, n-no, you said, "shite in nining armor." You actually said those specific words.
Jessica: I did.