‘Ted Lasso’: Jason Sudeikis Thought This Controversial Episode Should Be ‘Shot on an iPhone'
- Jason Sudeikis wanted this episode of ‘Ted Lasso’ shot on iPhone
- Brendan Hunt had the most fun filming the club sequence
- This ‘Ted Lasso’ episode didn’t need a happy ending
Ted Lasso received an unexpected order from Apple for two extra episodes while in pre-production for season 2. This last-minute request brought the entire season 2 order up to 12 episodes instead of 10 — the number of episodes in season 1. The producers quickly scrambled and revived two previously discarded story ideas.
According to star Brendan Hunt (Coach Beard), Jason Sudeikis thought one of those extra episodes — which turned out to be quite controversial — should be “shot on an iPhone.”
The success of ‘Ted Lasso’ season 1 led to the extra episode order
During a recent conversation with TV Line, Hunt explained that the original plan was for 10 episodes when they were putting season 2 together. To start the season writing process, the writers pitch a bunch of different ideas. Which results in “about 20 ideas that you like.” Then, they whittle those ideas down to the most important.
The writers and producers had already chosen their top 10 ideas for season 2 when season 1 was released on Apple TV+. Because the show found success immediately, Apple wanted more Ted Lasso as soon as possible.
“Apple was so enthusiastic. They said, ‘First of all, you’re picked up for season 2. And second, could you do two more episodes in Season 2?’” Hunt recalled. “So we went back to the discard pile and everybody picked their favorites.”
They added the episode ‘Beard After Hours’
After everyone chose a story idea to be added into season 2, Hunt says that Sudeikis had the final say. He opted for the Christmas episode titled “Carol of the Bells.” He also chose a controversial bottle episode titled “Beard After Hours.”
At first, Hunt says they weren’t sure if the episode would be “all Beard,” or if they were going to jump into other storylines. But ultimately, they decided to “make it organic to what Beard would actually be doing.”
The episode gave fans a peek at one of Coach Beard’s crazy adventures, which took place during an all-night odyssey through London after AFC Richmond’s brutal loss to Manchester City.
Jason Sudeikis wanted this episode of ‘Ted Lasso’ shot on iPhone
Hunt says that they knew Beard’s adventure would begin in a bar with the fans at Crown & Anchor. Once they “locked into that,” he says the episode was “so much fun.”
“[Director Sam Jones] is drawing from Martin Scorsese’s After Hours in a lot of different ways,” Hunt said about the unique look of the episode. “Jason originally had said it should be shot on an iPhone, but what he really meant was it should be handheld and should feel intimate and up-close in a way that the show isn’t really. The idea of making it look different from other episodes was always part of the package.”
Brendan Hunt had the most fun filming the club sequence
The scene that Hunt had the most fun filming was when Coach Beard was at the late-night rave, showing off his mad hula-hooping skills. However, he also says that scene was the most difficult to film.
It was fun because Hunt loves dancing, especially in those pants. He also “got a kick out of” the hula hooping in the script.
“I like hula hooping, and to be able to do it here was something I was really looking forward to, but it was difficult because we shot all the running scenes and all the fighting scenes in the days before the club sequence,” Hunt explained.
“It’s COVID, I’m in a foreign country, and I did not have the access to my Pilates teachers that I usually have, so by the time we got to the dancing, I was old and broken. I look at that scene with a bit of regret, because I’m not actually doing my best dancing there.”
This ‘Ted Lasso’ episode didn’t need a happy ending
Hunt admits that the dancing scene brought some light to an otherwise dark episode. He says that the idea was “to really run Beard through the mud.” But at the end, they would let him “release” all of that.
“It’s not necessarily a happy ending, but certainly an opportunity to shake it all off. And that comes, in a big way, from the fact that me and Joe [Kelly] and Jason, we all had met each other in Chicago back in the day, but we cemented our friendship [doing comedy] in Amsterdam,” Hunt explained.
“And in Amsterdam, you learn that a night out dancing is good for the soul. No matter what kind of tough times you’re going through, if you can get a night out with friends and really just lose yourself in the music, that’s just straight-up good for you, you know?”
Seasons 1 and 2 of Ted Lasso are available on Apple TV+.
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