Ted Lasso is a nicer character because of Donald Trump.
That’s according to star and creator Jason Sudeikis, who plays the loveable, folksy coach on the Apple TV+ series.
In an interview with The Guardian’s The Observer, Sudeikis said he was having dinner with his then romantic partner Olivia Wilde in 2015 when he “wondered if he could revisit a character called Ted Lasso that he had created for a comedy skit two years earlier.”
Lasso, according to Sudekis, was originally “belligerent.” Growing political tensions at the time inspired him to develop the character in a new direction.
“It was the culture we were living in,” Sudeikis said. “I’m not terribly active online and it even affected me. 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.”
As a result, the character became the warm, affable, positive quote machine viewers first came to love at the height of the pandemic in 2020.
Sudeikis and some of the other members of the “Ted Lasso” cast recently visited President Joe Biden at the White House in March for a discussion about mental health.
While there, the star called the character he plays “wish-fulfilment.”
“You know, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world,’” Sudeikis told The Observer, paraphrasing Mahatma Gandhi. “Well, how about, ‘Write the change you want to see in the world’? Part of the joy of getting to do this neat job I’ve got to do is the wish-fulfilment. Not just getting to play the characters, but also, what do you want to put out there into the world?”
The third season of “Ted Lasso” is currently streaming on Apple TV+. The show is produced by Warner Bros. Television, which like CNN is part of Warner Bros. Discovery.