That’s definitely the theme when talking to Brendan Hunt, who plays Coach Beard in “Ted Lasso.” As in, it’s time for the show to wind down after its third season. At least in this version. Spinoffs are a possibility.
Hunt, a journeyman actor before “Ted Lasso” came along, co-created the show along with Jason Sudeikis (who plays Ted), Bill Lawrence and Joe Kelly. His character is a friend to Ted, as well as a sounding board and a kind of oddball savant.
Hunt talked about all of this recently, on the eve of the third — and possibly final — season premiere on May 15 on Apple TV+. He was goofy from the start.
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Answer: They mixed things up with an audio-only interview, because that allows me to remove my pants. So thank you for that gift.
Q: No one will make it official, but it certainly seems like this will be the last season of the show. Have you always had an ending in mind?
A: Yeah, we’ve always had an ending in mind, and that’s why we’ve always seen it as a three-movement suite, essentially. Maybe that’s because we thought the premise might wear thin if we went on too long, I don’t know. But we will come to the end of that suite here. Whether that’s the total end forever? We don’t know yet. We’re going to get to the end of this and take a little break and figure it out.
Q: Unless a comet hits the stadium in the final scene or something.
A: WHO TOLD YOU? WHO TOLD YOU THE END?
Q: Ha. Last season you had your own episode, inspired by the great film “After Hours.” Was that one-and-done?
A: Oh, that was one-and-done for sure. That was just the circumstances of needing to come up with two more episodes all of a sudden, because we switched from 10 to 12 after Apple saw the show get out there and they read their data and like, ‘Oh, we gotta do more of this show! Cha-ching!’ But no, now they’ve told us in advance (it’s) a 12-episode season, so we were able to map it out accordingly. It’ll just be 12 basically normal looking episodes.
Q: How do you see Coach Beard?
A: In terms of the character, you’ve got some friends who are a rock, who are your friends forever, and that’s what Beard is. He’s quite content to be that. He has no aspirations. He only has wisdom and love, and those two things have gotten him this far, so why change now?
Q: Is it fun to play him?
A: Oh yeah, it’s a blast. First of all, I’ve never been a regular on a show before. I got a gig! On top of that, it’s a gig that I get to help make and I get to be making with some of my oldest friends. There’s nothing about this that does not fill me with joy on a day-to-day basis, and a lot of pinching of myself.
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Q: Are you surprised at how incredibly well-received the show has been?
A: Oh no, this is about how we imagined it. Though we thought we’d win a Nobel by now, so I guess we were too big for our britches.
No, this is a complete surprise. We always pictured it as three seasons, but we didn’t know if we would get one. We certainly didn’t know if we would get two, especially because we decided to do the show on a streaming service that didn’t exist.
Q: That sounds like a gamble.
A: You know how sometimes in life you do something on blind trust, and you don’t expect anything major to come back from it? You just do it on blind trust, because this is what you’re going to do. This is a show that ticked all the boxes: It’d be super fun to do, go to London for a while, yay! It doesn’t have to be anything more than that. And it’s been everything more than that. It’s mind-blowing and we’re very, very grateful, and enjoying it while it lasts.
Q: Are you ready to let it go?
A: Oh yeah. I mean, I love Jason, I love Brett (Goldstein, who plays Roy Kent), I love Joe Kelly. But if I have to see them for two more days in a row again, I’m going to punch them all … We need a break.
I’m exaggerating, but we want to get back to our other stuff for a while, take a little break, not spend 10 full months of a year in London, reintroduce ourselves to our families and our neighbors. And then the dust will settle, we’ll come back around and we’ll figure out what happens next. But yeah, this is a perfectly fine inflection point for a pause, and a disconnect.
Q: Comet notwithstanding, are you satisfied with how this version of the show ends?
A: I think so. I’ve been in the post process and helping these things get to their final cut. Maybe it’s because so much of it was filmed so long ago now, there’s just so many things I forgot happened — little moments, little bits of story, little bits of performances. So I’m still laughing a lot at this show, and I’m still affected by the work people are doing.
Now, me liking it doesn’t mean anybody else has to give a damn, but where I sit now, I’m reasonably confident we’ve done an OK job.
Q: That’s about as confident as actors and writers get, so you must be pretty satisfied.
A: We’re going to get that Nobel, man, any second.
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How to watch ‘Ted Lasso’ season 3
Season 3 premieres on Apple TV+ on March 15, with a new episode available to stream every Wednesday.
Reach Goodykoontz at [email protected]. Facebook: facebook.com/GoodyOnFilm. Twitter: @goodyk. Subscribe to the weekly movies newsletter.
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