Ted Lasso's Hannah Waddingham Struggles to Keep a Straight Face on Set with Jason Sudeikis
Although Hannah Waddingham is a seasoned professional — the acclaimed British actress is an Olivier and Emmy nominee — she admits that she sometimes has trouble keeping a straight face while filming her hit series Ted Lasso.
Waddingham plays one of the series' more serious characters, team boss Rebecca Welton, which means that the actress is frequently fighting giggles with her comedic costars, like co-creator and Ted Lasso himself, Jason Sudeikis.
"Imagine playing Rebecca, where I'm meant to be this stoic ice queen. Imagine doing scenes when Jason has got the cheeky little pixie going on in his eyes," she tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "He's a nightmare! And so is Nick Mohammed [Nate Shelley], to the point where in season two, when Nick Mohammed and I have to do scenes together, we have to slightly look off the side of each other's faces."
Waddingham, 46, says she has to "really dig in and keep [her] focus" to complete certain scenes, but that it is a delightful challenge. "We are all kept on our toes big time. The only thing that stops you from constantly f---ing around and having a laugh is the concentration you need to have on that set."
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In describing the entertaining dynamic Waddingham's Rebecca has with Sudeikis' Ted, she says: "He is the crazy, and I'm the metronome keeping it in place."
"I have to try and keep the focus," she continues. "It's like when he does the whole thing [in season 1] when we're doing the first concert, best concert, all of that. And he starts singing Kenny Rogers and he goes, 'You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to...' and I just go, 'Just stop.' And I would say that's pretty much us on set."
As for her character's arc in season 2, Waddingham says she loves that Rebecca still has some work to do to sort herself out after her personal and professional upheaval in the first season.
"I loved that when we join her, we find her in a place that is very, very different as a boss, because she wants to be there," she says. "But in terms of men, it's like she's having a teenage disaster period. And I love the fact that people are going to watch it and be like, 'Girl, what are you doing? Not him, you d---head.'"
In the meantime, the actress is trying to soak up all the love the show has received — both from critics and fans.
"It is such a beautiful thing that Ted Lasso has brought into all our lives. You guys think that Ted Lasso is a beautiful thing that we brought into your life, but the reaction is just heavenly for us," she says. "When you do a show, you don't know what it's going to bring to your life. And this one has had a real seismic change to our lives."
The second season of Ted Lasso is streaming on Apple TV+.
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