Look, the Emmy people should have known better than to tell Ted Lasso star Brett Goldstein not to swear, that’s all we’re saying. “They told me not to, repeatedly,” Goldstein told Seth Meyers on Wednesday’s Late Night, “And I was like, ‘Why are you saying this to me. Now I’m going to do it twice.’” Whether out of nervousness or defiance, that’s what Goldstein indeed did during his top-of-the-show acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor In A Comedy for his work as AFC Richmond’s gruffly lovable Roy Kent. Plus, that’s just Brett being Brett, as he told Meyers that, in hearing pitches for Roy’s character in the Ted Lasso writers room, he has been heard to growl out, “Roy Kent wouldn’t fucking say that.” (And mimed whipping out his Emmy for emphasis.)
For Goldstein, also a Ted Lasso writer and story editor, making the raspy Roy’s journey into grudging emotional maturity is in line with the show’s mission of finding the good—or at least understandably human—in characters who initially might be written off as stereotypes. Or, you know, just assholes. “All the characters have, they start off, you hate them,” said Goldstein, “And, in the end, we’ll make you like them, because everyone has a reason.” The writer in Goldstein trailed that last sentiment into a bit of singsong mockery, because Roy Kent didn’t just spring out of nowhere, but fans of the show know that the writers have, indeed, made almost everybody at least a bit relatable over the course of the show. (Well, Anthony Stewart Head’s billionaire former club owner Rupert Mannion is just a creep, but Head makes Rebecca’s philandering ex so deliciously slimy that it’s tough to write even him off.)
And that goes, too, for Goldstein’s friend Phil Dunster/Roy Kent’s nemesis, Jamie Tartt, even though Goldstein says he’s held back on two-person Roy-Jamie scenes because he and Dunster keep wasting Apple’s money by breaking each other up all the time. Meyers showed the scene where the contrite Jamie is trying to make nice with Richmond’s newest coach, with Goldstein noting, understandably, that him delivering the line, “You’re an ugly, ugly boy” involved a lot of quick edits around the corpsing. Still, when you’ve spent a year or so trapped in your flat with nobody to interact with but an amorous houseplant, it seems like you learn to get along with everyone.
With Meyers sharing a second clip, this time from Goldstein’s hilariously bananas quarantine webseries, Lone Island, the actor explained, “There was a point where I thought, maybe I’ll have to delete all of this, because we all went mad in lockdown.” Thankfully, Goldstein saw the inherent value of a dating show parody where his often-shirtless contestant is shown romancing not just a plant but a soccer ball (and feuding with a hand puppet) and Lone Island remains up for view on YouTube as testament to just how productive gathering isolation-madness can be. Comparing his one-person Lone Island to the team effort that is Ted Lasso, Goldstein explained that viewers might not be sold on dating contestant plant initially, but that they’ll come to realize that plant, like Jamie Tartt, “had their reasons.”