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‘Ted Lasso’ Star Brett Goldstein on the Thawing of Roy Kent, His Retirement Speech, and More — TV Podcast

"Ted Lasso" writer and actor Brett Goldstein stops by "Millions of Screens" to chat about how much he fucking loves Roy Kent.

Brett Goldstein in "Ted Lasso"
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The video above was produced by IndieWire’s Creative Producer Leonardo Adrian Garcia.

When you think of “Ted Lasso,” the first thing that inevitably pops into your mind is Jason Sudeikis  — and his stellar mustache — portraying the titular character. But if you think about the series for more than a moment, it’s likely that another man comes to mind in short order, so much so that he even has his own chant.

He’s here! He’s there! He’s every-fucking-where! Roy Kent! Roy Kent!

In this case, it’s Brett Goldstein, who played AFC Richmond’s former captain Roy Kent to perfection in “Ted Lasso” Season 1 — earning him a well-deserved Emmy nomination for supporting actor, alongside three of his castmates. In Season 2, Roy has moved on to a new stage of his life, searching for ways to cope as his retirement from football feels a little like retirement from life. Goldstein continues to shine in the role, finding new layers for a gruff, stone-faced, grump who has worked his entire life to be a lone wolf and yet finds himself reluctantly drawn into a pack.

As though that weren’t enough, Goldstein is also a writer on “Ted Lasso” and has been from the start. In fact, he penned this week’s episode, “The Signal.” But the writer wasn’t even considered to join the cast until he recorded an audition tape that was only submitted after the writers’ room had wrapped.

The role is a departure for the actor, who was often known for his bumbling, nice guy characters — the polar opposite of the cantankerous Roy Kent audiences have come to know and love. In a recent interview with IndieWire’s TV podcast “Millions of Screens,” it quickly became clear that Goldstein’s personality cleaves much closer to those nice guys — he used his own mic and recorded his own audio! — than to Roy*, all of which make his acting achievements on “Ted Lasso” all the more spectacular.

*Except for the swearing.

Here are just a few choice takeaways from that interview.

Playing in the Season 2 Sandbox

“Writing the scripts for Season 2 was such a treat because when we wrote Season 1, we didn’t know the actors,” Goldstein said. “Now we know the actors [and] we know how fucking good they are, so writing dialogue for Hannah Waddingham or Juno Temple or Phil Dunster is exciting because you can imagine, you know, they’re gonna fucking smash this and you know the kind of joke that they’re the best at. And it’s real. You’ve heard this phrase and I don’t think I understood it until I was making ‘Ted Lasso,’ this thing of the sandbox. It’s like we build the sandbox, we have the characters, we’ve got the action figures, and Season 2, we get to play with them and move them around. It’s so fucking cool.”

Brett Goldstein in "Ted Lasso"

Brett Goldstein in “Ted Lasso”

Colin Hutton

Roy’s Love Affair with Football

“You wouldn’t believe how lucky I feel,” he said. “It all feels like magic that I’m even allowed to do this. I fucking love playing Roy Kent. I love it. I got to do a Tom Cruise run — the race across [town in Episode 5, ‘Rainbow’]. And the reality was filming that montage of getting Roy [to the stadium] took ages, two weeks, and it was all filmed in tiny bits. So when I did finally get to the stadium, it had really been a real journey to get there. There’s been loads of moments on this show that feel like magic has happened, and certainly walking out into the stadium with the crowd doing the chant was one of them.”

Roy, the Iceberg

“In the beginning of Season 1, Roy is so depressed and in such a dark place. He’s an iceberg. He’s completely shut down,” Goldstein said. “There’s a moment in [Season 1] Episode 2, I think, where Jamie makes a joke about his — not mine because [the chest hair] is a wig — he says, ‘You put your jumper on’ or something. And Roy doesn’t even say anything back. He just goes and walks off because he’s dead. Roy at the beginning of [‘Ted Lasso’] is dead. This is the end of it. Everything’s shit, forget it. And he’s just slowly been thawing. It’s one step forward, two steps back back. Keeley has clearly had a huge part in Roy’s thawing, and Ted, but he’s still an angry motherfucker. He’s still the same guy. Some of the ice has fallen off, he can see out, and he’s let a bit of light in. And I think sometimes it really annoys him that he has. It takes five episodes for him to admit that he misses football properly. He’s a stubborn, difficult man still, it’s just that he’s also in love. And these people keep being fucking nice to him. I love him so much.”

Brett Goldstein in "Ted Lasso"

Brett Goldstein in “Ted Lasso”

Colin Hutton

Swearing Around Kids (and Why It’s Funny)

Why is swearing around kids, as Roy often does, so funny?

“Because people that don’t are dicks,” Goldstein said. “If everyone did it, it probably wouldn’t be funny, so I guess we’ve got to be grateful for the people that are scared of swearing in front of children.”

Retirement Speech

“That was my first day filming back,” Goldstein said of the retirement speech Roy delivers through tears, gasps for breath, and a general emotional breakdown. “That was the first thing I found [out I was doing] — the fucking crying video. It was easy, I’d left my attic for the first time in a year [and it was like,] ‘What is this? What is the world?'”

Goldstein was reluctant to say too much about the full video, which has only been shown in brief snippets through six episodes of Season 2.

“In the Snyder cut, I think the full length is about a minute and a half, two minutes of solid crying. There’s three versions of it — [that’s] all I can tell you.”

To hear more from Goldstein about “Ted Lasso” and Roy Kent, in addition to finally settling the hard-g/soft-g debate in “gif,” and revealing the scene in classic kids baseball movie “Rookie of the Year” that creeps into his thoughts every single day, tune in to this week’s episode of IndieWire’s TV podcast “Millions of Screens” with Deputy TV Editor Ben Travers, Creative Producer Leo Garcia, and TV Awards Editor Libby Hill.

Plus, the crew chats about the latest HBO release date news, including an October return for “Succession,” lashes back against the “Ted Lasso” backlash, and Libby and Ben make their final pleas to Emmy voters regarding Drama Series categories, wherein Libby lobbies for sanity and Ben makes the case for chaos.

Millions of Screens” is available on Apple PodcastsBreakerGoogle PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher. You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with the crew on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Review the show on iTunes and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the gang address specific issues in upcoming editions of “Millions of Screens.” Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on iTunes right here.

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