Ted Lasso: Brendan Hunt on Coach Beard’s Secrets and How Season 3 Might Not Be the End

Hunt wasn't allowed to write his character's breakout episode himself, the writer/actor reveals

Ted Lasso Brendan Hunt Interview

Ted Lasso star and executive producer Brendan Hunt has been on a bit of a roller coaster for the last two years — a roller coaster that may not be ending as soon as we think. “It’s been absolutely nuts, you know?” he tells Consequence with a laugh. “I mean, we just wanted to do that one commercial. Nine years ago, we got to go to London for three days. Woohoo. Now I can’t get outta this place.”

Hunt has been involved with Ted Lasso since the Emmy-winning comedy’s beginnings as a series of NBC Sports commercials, starring Jason Sudeikis as the mustachioed American who comes to England to take on what the rest of the world calls football. Now, the series has become a breakout hit for Apple TV+, with Hunt, already an Emmy nominee for his acting work in Season 1, eligible for another Emmy nomination this year for Season 2 — all while production continues on Season 3 in England. (Hunt was wearing his AFC Richmond jersey while speaking to Consequence during a break in production, via Zoom.)

Season 2 put more of the spotlight on Hunt than before, as his taciturn Coach Beard received a breakout episode covering one wild night following a tough loss for the team. “Beard After Hours” was one of the season’s standout installments, a slightly surreal trip into the night, and as Hunt explains it was originally a discarded story idea — and despite being a writer and executive producer on the show, he wasn’t allowed to write it.

Also below, transcribed and edited for clarity, Hunt explains what it’s been like to be thrust into the awards show circuit, why his colleagues Brett Goldstein and Joe Kelly were the ones to write “Beard After Hours,” and how he ended up doing an impression of his friend Seth Meyers in an episode of the Hulu revival of Animaniacs. Most importantly, he touches on the fact that while he and the other executive producers have said from the beginning that they had a three-season plan for Ted Lasso… Season 3 may not be the end of the series.

To start off, what has this ride been like for you?

I’ve been at this crazy thing we call showbiz for like a minute or two. And now suddenly, it’s like people come up to you, and want to talk to you and, you know, 99% of the time are lovely. They don’t just like [the show] — it’s touched them in some way. There are just so many wrinkles of this that are unexpected. The fact that it’s done so well, and it’s so popular, that’s one thing, but the fact that it means so much to people — we’re gobsmacked by it. And it just keeps going.

Knowing that the plan for this show has always been a three-season arc — does that add to the emotional pressure of that?

That’s one of those things where intellectually in every way possible and with complete truth, I can say no. But emotionally, it’s probably just not the truth. [Laughs] We want to just show up for work every day and go about our business. We didn’t make a show that people liked because we were coming in here feeling like we had to get it perfect for everybody and to suddenly have that attitude now wouldn’t help the show be better. We have to just continue to just come in and do stuff that, that we like.

But having said that, you know, we are approaching at least the end of this arc and it’s a funny thing. We do want to get it right. We want to be caring with how we give it to people. But also, if we’re too precious about it, or if we worry about getting it all perfect, I just don’t know what good that’s going to do us either. So we’re really kind of caught in the middle there.

Of course. I feel like this is the first time I’ve heard someone talk about the idea that these first three seasons would just be an arc — and that once this arc is completed, another arc is potentially possible.

Yes. Another arc is possible after this, for sure. We have always seen it as some kind of three-beat thing. Originally those three beats were more going to be modeled on what [the British] The Office did, you know, six eps, a special, boom, we’re done. We’ve certainly expanded those beats, but it does not mean that the whole kit and caboodle is getting chucked.


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