Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham recalls her shock at being cast as Rebecca Welton: ‘I’m never going to get this’
Ted Lasso’s Hannah Waddingham wasn’t convinced she’d scored a part in the critically-acclaimed series.
Waddingham, who plays Rebecca Welton, the owner of AFC Richmond, recalled thinking “I’m never going to get this” before being cast in the role of a lifetime.
“I felt when I read the script for Rebecca, I remember thinking ‘I’m never going to get this, it’s far too much of a honey of a role’,” Waddingham exclusively tells 9Honey Celebrity. “And whoever gets this, they better look after her.” Watch above!
Waddingham jokes, “When I did, I said to my team, ‘Wait, they could have had all these famous people, okay, okay…'”
Ted Lasso was a runaway success when it debuted, and recently nabbed a staggering 20 Emmy nominations — including acting nods for Waddingham, her co-stars Jason Sudeikis, Brett Goldstein, Brendan Hunt, Nick Mohammed and Jeremy Swift.
The heartwarming series follows Ted Lasso (Sudeikis), who is entrusted with the responsibility to coach an elite football team despite having zero experience.
“The moment I realised this was something special was when I watched scenes halfway through episode two, I knew this was really not about football at all,” Waddingham says.
“There were so many things that were revelations to me. Like Ted making the biscuits, the details are just beautiful.”
The gesture Waddingham references sees her character strike up a friendship with Ted Lasso, but it didn’t pan out as seamlessly behind the scenes.
“[The biscuits] looked like they are delicious… in Season One they are awful,” she jokes. “I spoke to the props department, I don’t think they realise how much I would embrace the fact that when Ted brings that into her life, it would become her emotional crutch. I made it that way.
“They probably thought I’d spit them out. But I really wanted to make it a thing from there. So now, the biscuits are really nice because I’ve complained so much.”
Waddingham explains how working with Sudeikis off-camera was equally as special. The actor co-wrote, executive produced and developed the series after portraying Ted Lasso in promo videos for NBC sports.
“He’s a constant presence, and he’s very much the last conduit through which everything goes,” she says of Sudeikis. “Rightly so, he’s the whole vibe of all of it. It’s quite an honour and a privilege to share a screen with someone who not only created it but steps out of it, into it, out of it, into it.
“I can see Jason, Ted, Jason, Ted. Almost within the blink of his eye, monitoring what he wants, anything we can heighten, or slim down. That’s a real honour.
“There’s no one who knows what the Ted Lasso vibe is more than him. You can twinkle at his eyes on the camera, he’ll twinkle back, and you can think ‘I’ve got it, I’m cool’. It’s incredible.”
This admiration extended to Waddhingham’s working relationship with Juno Temple, who played Keely in the series. “What a blessing it was. Both that we immediately fell in love with each other in real life, and secondly that we get to play these two glorious women who bolster each other up and trip over themselves to let the other one run ahead,” she says.
“Finally, that we are getting the chance to see women who aren’t pitted against each other, but ready to punch a bloke in the face if they said anything to hurt the other one.”
Waddingham says the series has taught her lessons she will forever carry with her in her personal and professional life.
“It’s the general shape of the show. Yes, it’s a comedy but it is also about the tragedy of the human condition. How we don’t realise how a complete stranger can walk into your life and change it for the better,” she explains. “Also, personally, the role of Rebecca is something I didn’t realise I needed in my life to make me realise it’s okay when you don’t know what you’re doing or where you’re going but help will be right along.
“The thing that stood out for me is that it’s better to be sad but together. Then sad and alone.
“Also, the way that when everyone is at the lowest, he [Ted Lasso] said, ‘Onwards and forwards’. When I watched that I just burst into tears cause it made sense in my own life.”
Ted Lasso season two premieres on Apple TV+ on Friday 23 July.
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