Paul Cripps interview: ‘Ted Lasso’ production designer
“It’s being kind of like a magician,” reveals “Ted Lasso” production designer Paul Cripps about his work in our recent webchat. He adds, “People believe something but it’s a complete fabrication. And if it’s a good enough fabrication, the actors feel they can live within it.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.
In its second season, “Ted Lasso” tells the story of the optimistic Ted (Jason Sudeikis) continuing to coach soccer team AFC Richmond in the UK. Last year, the show won the Emmy for Best Comedy Series, plus Cripps also received a nomination for Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half-Hour or Less).
The second season of the Apple TV+ comedy saw Richmond play an FA cup final at the iconic Wembley Stadium. Cripps admits, “I’ve shot at Wembley before but usually using it as other things. There’s a lot of underground spaces in the car park and we often use it for things like airports. So to shoot it as a football stadium was brilliant. It was a personal pleasure to go and shoot there. I support a team (Oxford United) that only have one cup, and they won it at Wembley. I was there when I was a young kid. It’s a magical place to go and shoot.”
But the real magic is filming Richmond’s home ground. The designer explains, “The AFC Richmond stadium is such a kit of parts. The idea that it all comes together and you think it’s a real stadium is often quite incredible, even to me. There are 17 different locations that we film to make up the one stadium. In the episode, ‘Beard After Dark,’ they eventually go through this tunnel and end up on the pitch. That’s about four disparate locations, just to do the scene with the tunnels. It’s made up of so many parts that it shouldn’t really work, but it does work. If there’s a journey and you’re interested enough, you can believe that the 17 ways we film these places suddenly link together and you’re in one place. That’s still a magical thing, as well as in my head.”