Nick Mohammed interview: ‘Ted Lasso’
“I believe ‘Ted Lasso’ is a force for good,” states Emmy-nominated actor Nick Mohammed in our recent webhcat. He continues, “It’s refreshing because it’s not a cynical comedy, but it has got characters that are troubled.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
Having aired its second season, the show tells the story of the optimistic Ted (Jason Sudeikis) continuing to coach soccer team AFC Richmond in the United Kingdom. For the 2021 ceremony, “Ted Lasso” won seven Emmys including Best Comedy Series. Mohammed reveals, “I’ve been really curious about how the writers manage to somehow deliver on comedy, drama and emotion. With some of the stuff that I’m reading for season three, the scripts are brilliant. Obviously I can’t talk about the details, but within scenes they’ve managed to deliver on laughs and emotion and then do a punchline or a payoff that is completely unexpected. It keeps you hooked and the characters real.”
Mohammed plays Nate “The Great” Shelley, former kit man who Ted promotes to assistant coach. Throughout the series the mild-mannered Nate has progressively gained confidence. The second season saw his character become resentful towards Ted. In the finale it’s revealed that Nate’s turned his back on Richmond and has taken the role of coach at West Ham United. Mohammed says, “A lot of people could associate with the underdog-does-good arc that Nate goes on. He meets Ted, Ted is this force for good and he ultimately empowers him. It was an even a bigger fall from grace when we saw that Nate was the one starting to make a lot of bad choices. From an acting point of view, it was the most dramatic acting I’ve ever had to do. It was a comfort area to be slightly awkward and do a lot of comedy. There were far fewer jokes for Nate in season two. There’s a lot more going on in Nate’s head. Playing that I found more challenging.”
In the season finale Ted confronts Nate. Mohammed explains, “It’s the only time that that Ted and Nate are together just the two of them in the whole season. Jason’s got this great way of really getting inside your head. He was almost talking to me like the bad demon inside Nate’s head. He’s like ‘you’re a failure, you’re never going to have a relationship, you’re rubbish, these people are laughing at you.’ He was saying this to rile me up, so I just really wanted to lay into him. Whatever it was going to take to get us to a position where it felt real.”