It’s fair to say that there’s no kinder character on TV than Ted Lasso. Over three seasons, star Jason Sudeikis has explored the complexity of decency. Ted isn’t perfect and he wrestles with demons, but he’s powerfully uncynical and always seeks the best in people. One reason the show has clicked is because these are dark times, with people divided. So it’s no shock to learn that Ted was partly inspired by a certain divisive politician.
In a new profile by The Guardian (in a bit caught by Deadline), Sudeikis talks about the evolution of the character, who originated in a sketch from the early 2010s. In 2015, Sudeikis decided to revisit the character, who he described as more broadly comic and “belligerent.” Obviously he dramatically changed his mind about that after seeing where the culture was heading.
“I’m not terribly active online and it even affected me,” Sudeikis says about the world becoming angrier and more divided. “Then you have Donald Trump coming down the escalator. I was like, ‘OK, this is silly,’ and then what he unlocked in people… I hated how people weren’t listening to one another. Things became very binary and I don’t think that’s the way the world works. And, as a new parent – we had our son Otis in 2014 – it was like, ‘Boy, I don’t want to add to this.’ Yeah, I just didn’t want to portray it.”
And that’s why Ted Lasso is such a nice guy and why Ted Lasso is such a nice show. The character has become a kind of guru of positivity in a negative era. When Sudeikis and his cast visited the White House recently to discuss mental health issues, they discovered that someone had even taped a blue-and-white sign above the door with the word “BELIEVE” — the motto of the show’s team. It’s almost a shame that it’s (probably, almost certainly) coming to an end.
(Via The Guardian and Deadline)