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Following its premiere in 2020, Apple TV captured the hearts of viewers everywhere with the premiere of its Emmy-winning comedy series, Ted Lasso (2020-). Described by many as the ultimate feel-good sports comedy, the show centers on the exploits of the titular optimistic American college football coach (Jason Sudeikis) as he is somehow hired to be the head coach of a European football team based in Great Britain. Over the course of his tenure coaching AFC Richmond in the first two seasons, Ted goes from being treated as the ultimate outcast to a team leader beloved by his team, his coworkers, and the team’s dedicated adoring fans.
Ever since Season 2 concluded all the way back in 2021, fans of the series have eagerly awaited the next and supposedly final chapter in the award-winning saga. Thankfully the wait is over, as Ted Lasso Season 3 finally premiered on March 15, 2023. However, since it has been almost two years since Season 2, some fans may be in need of a brief refresher of where we last saw these characters. Thankfully we at Collider have a game plan for you in the form of a comprehensive cast and character guide.
Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso
Jason Sudeikis used to be best known as one of the funniest cast members during his tenure at Saturday Night Live (1975-), and he struck gold yet again when he became the star of Ted Lasso.
Lasso began his coaching career in a sport that has nothing to do with European football – American football. More specifically college football, where he gained a reputation for his can-do attitude and locker-room dance moves. Strangely enough, Lasso was hand-picked by new AFC Richmond owner Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) to be the European football team’s new head coach, and while being the coach of a major league in a sport he knows nothing about sounds ludicrous to most, Lasso accepts the offer. Thus, Ted Lasso and his assistant Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) head to the United Kingdom to get started.
The pair of Americans did not receive the warmest welcome, being doubted by their team and completely maligned by the team’s community and fans. However, as Lasso continues to bombard everyone around him with the positivity of a thousand motivational speakers, Ted quickly gains the respect and friendship of his peers. That’s not to say that every step of Ted’s coaching journey has been without missteps. Sometimes that fervent optimism can get in the way of reality, as he’s in denial about his ongoing divorce and rejection of panic attacks and conventional therapy. Occasionally, Ted’s mission to inspire hope and belief in his friends and family leads to him leaving one critical person out – himself.
Hannah Waddingham as Rebecca Welton
Some may have recognized Hannah Waddingham as the infamous “Shame” Septa from Game of Thrones (2011-2019), but now she’s a household name for her Primetime Emmy-winning role as Rebecca Welton in Ted Lasso.
Rebecca came to own AFC Richmond after she won the team in a divorce settlement with her ex-husband, Rupert Mannion (Anthony Head). After firing the team’s repulsive head coach, George Carrick (Bill Fellows), Rebecca recruited Ted, not in an attempt to help the team improve, but to make it worse. See, Rebecca’s goal was to sabotage the team in an attempt to punish Rupert for cheating on her, using a somewhat friendly facade to hide her true intentions. However, as the friendly new coach continued to pry his way into her life, Rebecca learned to love the team and started to make amends for her intended sabotage.
In Season 2, Rebecca is looking to restart her love life but simply hasn’t been able to find the right partner for herself. After using an anonymous dating app, she finds herself unknowingly meeting Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh) – one of the players for AFC Richmond. She immediately dismisses the notion that they could be a couple, citing the clear age gap between them, but Sam proves to be just too charming for Rebecca to resist. Now having a new romantic partner in Sam, a loyal friend in Ted, and a close bond with the entire team and its staff, Rebecca is now more than willing to lead AFC Richmond as a responsible and dedicated owner.
Brett Goldstein as Roy Kent
When writing the screenplay for the series, self-proclaimed Muppet super-fan Brett Goldstein just knew that he had to play the character of Roy Kent, a rough and gruff character to whom he heavily related.
“Roy Kent! Roy Kent! He’s here. He’s there. He’s every f*cking where!” That’s the popular chant associated with the man who for the longest time, was AFC Richmond’s star athlete. Armed with an aggressive exterior and the mouth of a sailor, Roy was one of the toughest players for Ted to reach. He ultimately succeeded in gaining Roy’s apprehensive friendship, partially through the help of Roy’s new partner, Keeley Jones (Juno Temple) – the ex-girlfriend of Kent’s rival, Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster). Alas, as dedicated as Roy was to the sport, his age had finally caught up to him, and he had no choice but to walk away from the sport at the end of Season 1.
In Season 2, Kent is skating by coaching a youth football team for his young niece. He also gets an all too brief job as a sportscaster, and his potty mouth for all these positions made sure he wasn’t a good fit. It became clear to Roy that he still loved AFC Richmond and felt he still had a future there, and after a quick conversation with Ted, he became his third assistant coach in addition to Coach Beard and Coach Nate (Nick Mohammed).
Juno Temple as Keeley Jones
Juno Temple joins the large returning cast for Ted Lasso‘s third season, once again playing the cheery and open-minded PR Consultant for AFC Richmond.
Before being employed by AFC Richmond, Keeley made a living as a successful model and influencer, whilst also dating star athlete Jamie Tartt. She quickly forms a friendship with both Ted and Rebecca, acting as a sort of gateway into the younger world of social media. Keeley also quickly realizes that Jamie isn’t the one, now developing feelings for the broody yet lovable Roy Kent. That being said, at the end of Season 2, Keeley lets Roy know that she’ll be away on business for the next few weeks, disrupting Roy’s holiday plans in what almost feels like a tearful goodbye.
Brendan Hunt as Coach Beard
Bringing to life Ted’s right-hand man Coach Beard is Brendan Hunt, who plays one of the most unusual characters in the series.
Coach Beard is a man of few words, but he never ceases to be afraid to speak his mind when the need arises. A perfect example of this is in Season 1 when Ted is in denial about Roy being past his prime and needing to retire, Beard makes it abundantly clear that he needs to look past that optimism and think about the rest of the team. He also is one of the first people to notice when Nate begins to use his position as assistant coach to be condescending and rude to the various players, but it’s doubtful that he and the rest of the coaching staff could predict their friend’s profound betrayal.
Nick Mohammed as Nate Shelley
Once again playing Nate, one of the most complicated and surprising characters in the show, is Nick Mohammed.
Nate was introduced as a lowly but dedicated kit man for AFC Richmond, and was the subject of much torment and bullying by some of the other players, particularly by Jamie Tartt. Ted and the rest of the crew slowly but surely inspire confidence in the football expert, even inducting Nate into the coaching “Diamond Dogs” club. As Nate becomes more and more vocal on the staff, Rebecca eventually offers him the position of assistant coach. A career-high at the time, but one that would turn Nate into something of a monster.
Nate’s fall to the dark side really began with Ted bringing back Jamie Tartt to the team. Nate was not at all a fan of the idea of bringing back his former tormentor, believing he wasn’t worthy of being on the team anymore. Things got worse as he took out much of his repressed aggression on many of the other teammates who bullied him and even the team’s new kit man. Ultimately, Nate commits the ultimate act of betrayal by exposing Ted’s panic attacks to the press, then choosing to leave the team behind and become the coach for West Ham United, the new football club owned by Rebecca’s ex-husband, Rupert.
Phil Dunster as Jamie Tartt
Phil Dunster‘s character of Jamie Tartt quickly went from being one of the most hated characters in Ted Lasso to one of its most sympathetic.
Tartt was introduced as the stereotypical bully character. The one who’s good at what he does, but treats his peers as if they were lower than dirt. Despite Ted’s best efforts to show the spoiled player the error of his ways, Tartt was ultimately traded to another club and became a more literal rival for the team. That was short-lived, as, after a failed attempt to break into reality television, Jamie was brought back to AFC Richmond. Lasso also learned that the source of Tartt’s bad behavior was most likely his abusive father, who seems to think that his son is never good enough to be a professional football player.
Toheeb Jimoh as Sam Obisanya
Toheeb Jimoh plays Sam Obisanya, one of the most empathetic characters in the whole show.
Sam is one of the few players on the team who isn’t originally from England, instead hailing from Nigeria. He was one of the earliest members of the team to really form a bond with Ted, and he’s one of the most beloved members of the team by his peers. As of now, his relationship with Rebecca is a closet secret that only a few people know, so it will be interesting to see how others react when their love goes public.
Anthony Head as Rupert Mannion
Easily the closest thing that Ted Lasso has to a main villain is Rupert Mannion, played by Anthony Head.
Rupert was the former owner of AFC Richmond and the husband of Rebecca, but that all changed when Rebecca uncovered a long history of infidelity from Rupert. Rupert lost the team in his divorce, and though he proudly wears his passive-aggressive charisma on his sleeve, he clearly harbors a grudge against his ex-wife and her employees. He even goes as far as to poach Nate and make him the coach of his new team, West Ham United, effectively making him the Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) to Nate’s Darth Vader (James Earl Jones).
Jeremy Swift as Leslie Higgins
AFC Richmond’s Director of Communications Leslie Higgins, played by Jeremy Swift could have easily been a disposable side character, but quickly became a much bigger role.
Higgins has been employed by AFC Richmond ever since Rupert was in charge, and he unfortunately was intimidated by Rupert into covering up his affairs. Rebecca found out and made Leslie her own pawn, also treating him less than respectfully. Eventually, however, Rebecca did learn that Leslie is actually a loving and kind family man who does more for the team than she gave him credit for.
Kola Bokinni as Isaac McAdoo
Kola Bokinni plays Isaac McAdoo, who at the start of the series is the center-back and vice-captain for the AFC Richmond football team and is later promoted to team captain. Behind his tough exterior, he’s incredibly protective of his teammates and of Ted.
Billy Harris as Colin Hughes
Billy Harris plays Colin Hughes, the left-winger for AFC Richmond. Colin is one of the youngest players on the team and in Season 2 found himself being bullied by Nate, leading him to seek help from Dr. Sharon.
James Lance as Trent Crimm
James Lance plays Trent Crimm, a hard-hitting reporter from The Independent. In Season 1, Trent seems skeptical about Ted’s chances as the head coach for AFC Richmond but later takes a liking to him. In Season 2 he is fired from his job after revealing that Nate was the anonymous leaker behind Ted’s panic attack.
Cristo Fernández as Dani Rojas
Last but certainly not least, there’s Cristo Fernández as Dani Rojas, who’s probably the most optimistic person in the show next to Ted.
Dani came to AFC Richmond as a mid-season trade, originally hailing from Mexico. Coining the phrase “football is life”, Dani has a huge passion for the sport, loving his teammates almost as he loves playing the sport. Things hit a bit of a speed bump for Dani in Season 2 when a freak accident resulted in him accidentally killing the team’s canine mascot, but it was nothing a little bit of therapy couldn’t fix.
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