Ted Lasso set a new standard for kindness when it premiered on Apple TV+ in 2020. But Jason Sudeikis just revealed he made some major changes to the character before creating the show, resulting in its signature warmth.
Speaking to The Guardian, Sudeikis revealed the “culture” during Donald Trump‘s presidency spurred him to change Ted Lasso’s character from the more “belligerent” one he originally created just a few years earlier.
“It was the culture we were living in,” he 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…”
Sudeikis continued, “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.”
With its premiere during the pandemic, a time marked by social isolation, Ted Lasso became both a comfort watch and a model for good behavior for its many fans. According to Sudeikis, this wasn’t an accident.
“You know, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world,’” he said. “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-fullfilment. Not just getting to play the characters, but also, what do you want to put out there into the world?”
Earlier this year, the Ted Lasso cast got the opportunity to visit the White House to speak on mental health, a core part of Lasso’s storyline in the sitcom.
Though Sudeikis said the experience was “nuts,” he only had good things to say about current U.S. President Joe Biden.
“I’d been in a fake Oval Office a number of times and so there’s a little bit of me that’s nonplussed by it and just holding my shit together,” he said.
Sudeikis added, “And I’d met the president when he was vice president and he’s a very warm guy. It’s like meeting your good friend’s father or your young friend’s grandfather. He just makes you feel at home and that home just happened to be the White House for that afternoon.”