The word heartwarming is thrown around a lot in the world of media, but never was it more deserved than in the 2020 Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso. This series follows the character of the same name, Ted, as he goes from coaching American football in Wichita, Kansas to leading AFC Richmond, a professional British football club (or as we Americans say, soccer). He is definitely a fish out of water but in the most charming and likable way. Recently, we got to sit down with the creatives behind Ted Lasso to find out how everything from the visual effects to the hair and makeup all work together to make one of the most delightful shows out there today.
One of the challenges for casting director Theo Park was finding talent that could play soccer and act. “Obviously we had to find actors who could play football as well, so that was interesting. We saw some amazing auditions from actors doing some keepie uppies in their garden with a mate videoing them.”
She goes on to say they focused on finding actors who could do comedy rather than comedians. “Because we really needed to see heart and soul from every single member of the cast so they had to be really strong actors as well as clever comics.”
Costuming, Hair & Makeup
Costume designer Jacky Levy had not only the challenge of designing the jerseys for games and practice for the team, but also the style and clothes for all the characters including formal wear for the charity gala. Rebecca, played by Hannah Waddingham, was a particularly challenging character to design just the right look for her powerful and vulnerable character.
Levy says, “It starts with talking to the actors themselves. I’ll discuss with Hannah and Juno the scenes… and we go collaboratively from there. Rebecca is a very successful and strong person in the show but she does have this vulnerable side. We try and make her costumes pick that powerful position that she holds but also trying to keep it real. We like to have her fit in the football world but she keeps a femininity as well.”
Makeup and hair designer Nicky Austin elaborates on how she and Levy collaborate to make each character shine: “We have a lot of fun. Juno in particular. Keeley’s such a great character… Every character has their own journey so we have to take that into account. So when we first see Keeley in the locker room we see the old page 3 girl images in the locker and that’s the start of her journey and we are trying to build her into this professional which is very much done through the costume and the makeup. The fact she wants to be taken more seriously impacts her style.”
Production Design & Visual Effects
Most casual viewers probably have no idea the amount of visual trickery goes on to make Ted Lasso work. Amazingly all of the soccer crowd scenes and game audiences are all visual effects, and not actual crowds.
Production designer Paul Cripps says, “Kipp Kroeger (post producer) made it look like we played football games in premiere leagues in real stadiums. There are two sides to the production design with the real sets and the post sets that they did. I think the combination of those two things really work because the thing that often lets down sports films or comedies is the sports part but I think ours holds up pretty well”
You can see a breakdown of the visual effects for the show in this video made by Barnstorm VFX and supervisor Lawson Deming:
It Takes a Team
There are many other key players that work together to make a show like Ted Lasso work including sound designers, music composers, editors, writers and of course actors. If you haven’t seen season 1 check it out on Apple TV+ and get ready for season 2 this July. And remember… just like Ted says, “You know what the happiest animal on Earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? Got a ten-second memory. Be a goldfish.”