‘Ted Lasso’ – How Hannah Waddingham improvised with Jason Sudeikis

Hannah Waddingham’s ‘meeting of the minds with
‘Ted Lasso’ co-star

Hannah Waddingham of ‘Ted Lasso’ on Apple TV+

Q: What attracted you to the role of soccer team owner Rebecca Welton on “Ted Lasso”?

A: Well, other than Jason (Sudeikis, the series’ star, writer and executive producer), I just think both on screen and off, he’s just an unbelievable, proper, old-school talent both on screen and in his writing. So I get sent an awful lot of comedy things that I read through and I just don’t laugh at. I can go, “Oh, that’s funny” in my head but (they’re) things that don’t actually make me laugh out loud. So because of that, I wanted to go in for it.

And then just looking at my character as a whole, as a woman who’s nearly six foot and always plays quite formidable roles because of that, I loved the way she was written and I loved the fact that it’s quite unusual to see – the very fact that they went for me, I just thought I loved the fact that you are going for somebody who is playing against type in so many scenes. And the reason why she has this hard exterior is because there is something very, very, very soft and broken behind it.

Q: How is working out scenes with Jason?

A: Well, once I got rid of my fangirling element … I really had to dig deep. … Some of the scenes that we do in my office, I really have to dig deep, when he just goes, when he just runs with it and improvises on the spot. And of course, he made it quite clear to me that my modus operandi was to cut him off, to not be impressed and to try and keep the conversation as straight as you can. Now that’s really hard when you find a person that’s doing that really funny (laughs).

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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