The Hollywood Reporter hosted a special sneak peek of Ted Lasso‘s second season on Saturday at the Ross House in the Mount Olympus neighborhood in Los Angeles. The THR Presents event — co-sponsored by Heineken — treated members of the Television Academy and the Screen Actors Guild with a cocktail reception and two episodes of the Emmy-nominated Apple TV+ series, which returns for its sophomore season on July 23.
In attendance were two of the show’s stars, Hannah Waddingham and Juno Temple, who also each earned their first Emmy nominations last Tuesday amid a busy week of press to promote the upcoming season. But just like their on-screen counterparts — Waddingham’s Rebecca Welton is the confident and commanding owner of the Richmond football club, while Temple’s Keeley Jones serves as Rebecca’s new protegée — the actresses dismissed any hint of competition between them despite both being nominated for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series.
In fact, that Rebecca and Keeley are not pit against each other throughout Ted Lasso — as female characters often are in such a male-dominated show — remains quite revolutionary for the pair of actresses. “To get to play two very different, but extremely brilliant, fragile, beautiful, sometimes broken, sometimes pieced-back-together women that are true friends and aren’t competitive with one another and actually just want to support each other through whatever shit gets thrown at them is really a pleasure,” Temple said. “It’s something that happened off screen as well — supporting one another through moments of personal brilliance and personal tragedy.”
Waddingham agreed that having their characters compete with one another would have been a struggle, as she and Temple had an immediate connection upon their first meeting under extremely unglamorous fluorescent lighting in the women’s restroom just ahead of their first read-through together. “I thought, ‘Who is this tiny, perfect unicorn in front of me?’” Waddingham recalled of her first glimpse of her co-star. “And thank God,” Waddingham added, “otherwise, this would have been a difficult job.”
Waddingham and Temple hold their own as the odd women out among a lot of men — which, they admit, is easy given that the men in front of and behind of the camera (including their co-stars Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt, two of the show’s co-creators, as well as writer-actor Brett Goldstein) are what Waddingham called “staunch feminists.” “It didn’t feel male-dominated — I’ve noticed it since people have been asking us about it,” Temple admitted. “There are many female heads of department and strong female writers in the room.”
As Waddingham perfectly put it: “There are a lot of boss-ass bitches on this show.”