In the season two premiere of Ted Lasso, Leslie Higgins (Jeremy Swift) decides to bring on sports psychologist Dr. Sharon (Sarah Niles) to help AFC Richmond player Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernandez) battle an unexpected trauma. As Director of Football Operations, Leslie makes the pivotal decision to keep Dr. Sharon on board to further assist the team and boost morale. His choice is instrumental in the show’s development going forward, and Swift is more than excited to play the role of a catalyst.
The A.V. Club spoke to Swift about how Ted Lasso tackles therapy in season two, the pressure to maintain the show’s quality, how Higgins is finally his real self, and whether or not he’s a football fan in real life. You can watch the video below or read on for parts of the transcript.
The A.V. Club: What was it like to be back on set for season two?
Jeremy Swift: It was a relief to be back on set. It was exciting. And also, you know, we felt grateful because so many people don’t have work in this climate or are isolated. It took a little bit of getting used to because I think some of the crew had done other shows where they were wearing masks last year but it was the first time for the most of the cast to be doing that. But we got through it. The main thing was to try and up the bar for the quality of the show, or at least don’t drop it. We’ve been amazed by everybody’s reaction to it, so we just wanted to keep the quality control in check.
AVC: Did you feel the pressure to deliver something as spectacular as season one because it was so well-received with critical acclaim and award nominations.
JS: Yeah. More importantly, just the public and on social media, they just loved it. It was a difficult bit of second album syndrome. The writers are so smart. It was within their capabilities. I think the scripts really tackle that and are really, really strong and are hopefully as adorable and funny as they were in the first season. And full of lots of delicious surprises as well.
AVC: Higgins is a big proponent of getting the sports psychologist, which is such a big deal. How did it feel to be the proponent of a storyline that shifts the direction of season two?
JS: I enjoyed that bit of writing and the fact that it normalized therapy and made it seem applicable to what people would assume is just a physical job. We are united in brain and body, it’s all got to work together, and it’s great to see that acknowledged. It was fun to be the character that brings that on board.