DEADLINE – Jason Sudeikis’s award-winning creation of Ted Lasso was inspired, in part, by the arrival of Donald Trump on the political scene.
The actor told the UK’s Guardian newspaper that, back in 2015, he was pondering revisiting a character he’d previously created for a comedy skit.
Lasso was originally more “belligerent” but the politics of the time persuaded Sudeikis to take him in a warmer direction.
Sudeikis told The Guardian:
“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.”
The result was the warm, uncynical character of Lasso – a clueless coach recruited to take charge of fictional English football team Richmond ACF – who has caught the imagination on both sides of the Atlantic.
And, as the show prepares to bow out after three seasons, Lasso’s motto “Believe” has spread as far as the White House.
Sudeikis told The Guardian of his recent visit to Joe Biden in the Oval Office, to discuss mental health strategies, where “Believe” had been pinned above the door.
“It’s nuts, man,” said Sudeikis. “I haven’t even looked at the pictures of the White House yet because I want it to just live up there for a while as this amazing firework show rather than saying, ‘Oh, boy, why did I wear sneakers?’”
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