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Thursday, July 07, 2022

Jason Sudeikis: The theme of Ted Lasso is universal

Created by Jason Sudeikis and Bill Lawrence, Ted Lasso follows an American football coach who is recruited by an English premier league team. In this interview, Jason and Bill share their approach to making an international show.

Written by Sampada Sharma | New Delhi |
Updated: September 19, 2021 6:25:10 pm
jason sudeikis ted lassoJason Sudeikis starrer Ted Lasso starts streaming on Apple TV+ on August 14.

Hollywood actor Jason Sudeikis, popular for films like Horrible Bosses, We’re the Millers and his varied characters on Saturday Night Live, is ready to bring joy to our lives once again with his upcoming Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso. Here, Jason, also the co-creator of the show, plays an American football coach who has been recruited to coach an English football team. The comedy centers around Ted’s misadventures in the foreign land where despite many hiccups, his optimistic attitude somehow saves him on most occasions.

In a virtual roundtable conversation, asked Jason if the show’s global reach affected his approach during the making. He shared that even though “we are different culturally,” we are all “similar on a macro” level as “we all go through a lot of the same stuff.” The actor recounted his early days doing improv comedy in Amsterdam to explain the global nature of comedy. He shared that people from Europe, Australia and many other countries “laughed at a lot of the same things.”

Jason Sudeikis cited examples of co-creator Bill Lawrence’s other shows like Spin City and Scrubs that found a global audience despite their American setting. “Because life and death, good and evil are ubiquitous and there are themes of Ted Lasso that are more on a human level, although it is all pulled through the prism of an American eye. But yes, we took on the international challenges willfully.”

Since the show follows the ups and downs of a premier league team, their casting was as diverse as it could be. “Because the premier league is so diverse and has so many nationalities and cultures, we did (the same) with our casting with the team, recurring characters, supporting characters and the mainstays.”

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Co-creator Bill Lawrence chimed in and said, “The really interesting and exciting thing about working with Apple is the very thing you just mentioned (the global reach). Having made shows for a long time, I never tried to make content solely for an American audience. One of the appealing things for me was that this is an international platform. Football is an international sport and for me, we didn’t really adjust for an international audience as much as I felt excited and challenged by it.”

ted lasso apple tv Ted Lasso has been co-created by Jason Sudeikis and Bill Lawrence.

We asked Jason Sudeikis how Ted, the eternal optimist, would have dealt with the coronavirus situation, he said, “I think he’d be wearing a mask and staying in. But I know it’d be driving him a little bit crazy, like many of us, just the whole Stockholm Syndrome feeling of it. I also think he would probably be big into connecting with friends and family over FaceTime.”

Bill Lawrence added, “Jason always instills this characteristic in Ted, which I love, that not only is he an optimist, but he’s eternally curious. I think he is a guy who would probably just believe in science and want to stay up to date on stuff. He would be one of those dudes that you’re surprised to find out how well informed he is.”

Ted Lasso starts streaming on Apple TV+ on August 14.

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